October 23, 2019

Cayman Islands Premier’s World Health Day Message

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1280px-World_Health_Organization_Flag Message
Minister of Home Affairs, Health and Culture,
Hon. Alden McLaughlin, JP
Thursday, 7th April, 2016

Today the Cayman Islands joins the global community as we observe World Health Day.

It is a global health awareness day celebrated every year on the 7th April; the birth date of the .

For over six decades the has seized the opportunity to draw worldwide attention to a subject of major importance to global health each year.

In 2008, a global estimation of 347 million people in the world had diabetes and in 2012, the disease was the direct cause of approximately 1.5 million deaths. The incidence of the diabetes epidemic continues to rapidly increase in many countries and the WHO projects that diabetes will become the world’s 7th leading cause of death by 2030. It is fitting then that the theme selected by the WHO to be observed this year is “Halt the Rise: Beat Diabetes”.

It is noteworthy that diabetes is a topic that many people in the Cayman Islands are unfortunately familiar with as our population has recorded increasing numbers of people with diabetes. As many of you know, diabetes is a lifestyle disease; in some cases it is preventable. Simple lifestyle changes have been shown to be effective in preventing or reducing the risk of diabetes or delaying the onset of type 2 diabetes. These include maintaining normal body weight, engaging in regular physical activity and eating a healthy and balanced diet. Mindful of this fact, we all have a personal responsibility to play a part in halting the rise of the diabetic epidemic.

As Premier and Minister of Health, I am proud of the on-the-ground, proactive and preventive measures in place throughout these Islands by the Public Health Department, the Heath Services Authority, the Cayman Islands Diabetes Association and the Cayman Islands Diabetes Charitable Trust. Through educational classes, various ongoing onsite screenings, counselling and awareness sharing activities, help is offered to people to determine their level of risk for diabetes and in tackling the disease.

The Public Health Department will shortly have regular Public Service Announcements on our air waves across the Islands with a focus on preventable diseases, conditions and situations that can cause ill health.

While the Health Services Authority and the Public Health Department continue to provide medical support, care and treatment of those dealing with diabetes, we must also thank the organisations and service clubs that help in screening people at no cost, most recently the Cayman Heart Foundation’s Heart Smart Health Fair held last month.

On this World Health Day 2016, I encourage you to join in the global fight against diabetes by learning how each of you can personally practice healthy eating and active living as a means of preventing the onset of diabetes.

For those who are diabetic – stand strong in your fight to manage your diabetes. These measures will help us to help you in ensuring the health and wellness of the people in the beloved Cayman Islands.

Thank You.

IMAGE: World Health Organization Flag – Wikipedia

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