Focus on diabetes and obesity
Public health care professionals have been learning more about insulin management, as health officials raise concern about the high incidence of diabetes and obesity.
The Ministry of Health, in collaboration with the Diabetes Education Task Force (DET) hosted the first training session in insulin management for public health care professionals last Thursday, bringing together doctors, nurses and pharmacists working in polyclinics islandwide.
Chief Medical Officer of Health, Dr. Joy St John, said the training was vital, given the continuing rise in both diabetes and obesity in Barbados.
According to her, statistics show that the prevalence of diabetes in Barbados had jumped from 14.9 percent in 2007 to 16.8 percent by 2012.
“We are going in the wrong direction,” she warned.
Dr. St John said she is also worried about the increasing level of obesity, as men, who previously lagged behind women statistically, are now catching up.
She noted that the DET brought “an element of rigour” to the challenge, focusing not only on training but also on monitoring, evaluation and research.
The DET is chaired by diabetes specialist Dr. Charles Taylor, with members drawn from the public and private sectors, as well as non-governmental organisations.
Senior Medical Officer of Health, Dr. Kenneth George, told workshop participants that the training was part of a wider strategy within the Ministry of Health to address the challenges posed by non-communicable diseases (NCDs).
Dr. George highlighted another initiative, which he said will attempt to reach more people within communities.
He explained that the Ministry has teamed up with the Diabetes Association of Barbados and the Pan-American Health Organisation (PAHO) to train community leaders who suffer from chronic diseases to share information on prevention and control of NCDs with members of their communities.