#TurksandCaicos, November 11, 2017 – Providenciales – The Ministry of Health, Agriculture and Human Services joins the rest of the world in the observance of World Diabetes Day. World Diabetes Day is the world’s largest diabetes awareness campaign and is observed every year on November 14. Observance of this day aims to highlight key issues related to diabetes reaching over 1 billion people in over 160 countries.
The theme of World Diabetes Day (WDD) 2017 – 14 November – is Women and Diabetes, with the slogan “Our right to a healthy future”, focusing on women currently living with diabetes and how women can self-manage their diabetes.
The Director of Health Promotion and Advocacy Unit, Mrs. Aldora Robinson stated; “Diabetes is globally the 9th leading cause of death among women worldwide and locally 60.9% of persons diagnosed with diabetes in 2016 were women” She continued; “It is more difficult for women who have diabetes to become pregnant and in instances where they do, they are at risk of severe complications. We as women must take better care of our health, we need to act now.”
Girls and women with diabetes experience a range of challenges. Power dynamics, gender roles and socioeconomic inequalities influence vulnerability to diabetes, exposing women to poor diet and nutrition and physical inactivity disproportionately. These factors also affect women’s access to health services and health seeking behavior, it also amplifies the impact of diabetes on women, particularly in developing countries. Diabetes is one of the leading causes of cardiovascular disease (CVD), blindness, kidney failure and lower-limb amputation.
Mrs. Lakiesha Wilson, Nutritionist within the Primary Care Department called for women to take a deep look into their diet and stated; “In pregnancy, poorly controlled diabetes increases the risk of maternal and fetal complications, we are the care givers and nurturers in our families but take no time to look after ourselves”
“Women with type 2 diabetes are 10 times more likely to have heart disease and have significantly increased risk of depression in comparison to men. Globally, there are more deaths attributable to diabetes in women than men.”
The Minister of Health, Agriculture and Human Services Hon. Edwin Astwood added; “We must work together in our efforts to prevent and control diabetes in our population. This requires the commitment of every resident in the Turks and Caicos Islands.”
He continued; “While the government will do all that it can to provide the necessary treatment and care for those with diabetes, individuals also have a personal responsibility to take charge of their own health, and make healthy lifestyle choices. I encourage all of us to make a personal commitment towards leading a healthy lifestyle, to minimize the impact of diabetes and other chronic non-communicable diseases on our women and our society at large.”
For more information on Diabetes contact the Health Promotion and Advocacy Unit on 338-2772.