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Statement by Prime Minister of Saint Kitts and Nevis The Honourable Dr. Terrance Drew for World Diabetes Day

Published 14 November 2023


Buckie Got It, St Kitts and Nevis News Source

Statement by Prime Minister of Saint Kitts and Nevis 

The Honourable Dr. Terrance Drew 

World Diabetes Day 

My Fellow Citizens and Residents, 

I am pleased to officially open the St. Kitts Diabetes Association Week of Activities in honour of World Diabetes Day which is celebrated on November 14. This is a crucial time dedicated to raising awareness about diabetes and its impact on individuals, families, our Federation, and the entire world. 

Diabetes is a global health challenge that requires our collective attention, and this week provides us with an opportunity to unite in our efforts to combat this pervasive non-communicable disease. As we embark on a week of advocacy, education, and community engagement, let us reflect on the importance of supporting those affected by diabetes and working towards a healthier, more resilient society. 

World Diabetes Day was established in 1991 by the International Diabetes Federation (IDF) and the World Health Organization (WHO) in response to the escalating global prevalence of diabetes. In 2006, it gained official recognition as a United Nations Day. 

Since its inception, World Diabetes Day has evolved into a widespread global initiative spanning over 160 countries. This initiative serves as a pivotal force in heightening awareness about diabetes and championing improved care and prevention measures. It has become a catalyst for fostering a global dialogue on the challenges posed by diabetes and mobilizing millions to actively engage in the pursuit of a healthier world. 

The theme for this year’s World Diabetes Day, “Access to Diabetes Care,” serves as a poignant reminder of the imperative to enhance awareness, promote early detection, and facilitate effective management of diabetes. It serves as a collective call to action, urging not only policymakers and healthcare professionals, but also community leaders, and individuals, to unite in addressing the multifaceted challenges posed by diabetes. 

By working together, we can ensure that everyone, regardless of their background or circumstances, has equitable access to quality diabetes care and support. Together let us strive to make tangible strides in the prevention and management of diabetes for a healthier and more inclusive future. 

In the Federation, 13.7% of total deaths that occurred between 2017-2021 were attributed to Diabetes and its complications. The number of new cases of Diabetes Mellitus for the years 2019, 2020, and 2021 were 60, 85, and 81 respectively. At the end of 2020, 31.5% of men and 68.5% of women accounted for the total number of cases of Diabetes Mellitus in the Primary Care Setting.  

Your government remains committed to investing in public health initiatives, research, and healthcare infrastructure to better prevent, diagnose, and manage diabetes. By fostering a culture of health and well-being, we can reduce the prevalence of diabetes and improve the quality of life for those living with this condition. 

I encourage all citizens to participate actively in recognizing World Diabetes Day by wearing blue, which is the official color of diabetes awareness. I encourage you to engage in conversations about diabetes prevention, risk factors, and management; and support organizations like the St. Kitts Diabetes Association which work tirelessly to make a positive impact in the lives of those affected by diabetes. 

The St. Kitts Diabetes Association Week of Activities includes: 

  • School visits to educate our nation’s youth, from November 13 to 15 
  • School Symposium and Health Screening on November 16 
  • Health fair on November 17  
  • And the 9th annual Walk on November 18 at 5:30 a.m.  

Let us not merely be spectators in this national effort, but active participants in the fight against diabetes. I implore you to step forward and support the various diabetes awareness initiatives in your community. Awareness is a powerful tool, and your involvement can make a meaningful impact. 

For those of you who may be at risk, do not let fear or uncertainty hold you back. Take charge of your health by getting tested for early detection and timely intervention. Collectively, we possess the strength to build a healthier, more inclusive future for all in our nation. Let us pledge to carry the torch of awareness beyond this week, fostering a sustained commitment to diabetes prevention and management. 

Thank you, and let our actions this week be the start of a journey towards a healthier, Saint Kitts and Nevis. 

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