All-out war on Diabetes in Tobago

Caption: Displays for participants. (Photo courtesy Tobago House of Assembly)

August 8, 2017: There is an urgent need for action against diabetes and other non-communicable diseases. This was strongly conveyed by Councillor Dr. Agatha Carrington, Secretary of Health, Wellness and Family Development during her feature address at the opening ceremony of the Inaugural Diabetes Camp 2017. The camp was hosted by the Canaan/ Bon Accord and Mason Hall Diabetes Associations on Monday, 7th August, 2017 at the Lowlands Multipurpose Facility.

Dr. Carrington shared, “in 2015, the International Diabetes Federation identified 542,000 children under 15 years of age with type 1 diabetes and 86,000.00 new type 1 diabetes cases per year in this same age group.” She also said “in 2010, alarming statistics from the study entitled [The Diabetes Epidemic in Trinidad and Tobago (T&T): Attacking a Burdensome Disease] revealed that T&T was ranked 5th in the world with diabetes per capita, had the most persons with diabetes per capita in the Western Hemisphere and had over 450 children with type 1 diabetes.” Dr. Carrington explained that these statistics indicate the need for “an all-out war” against diabetes and other non-communicable diseases and makes this camp “a timely and noteworthy initiative.”

Dr. Carrington said “we at the Tobago House of Assembly will continue to do our part to improve the health of our citizens in Tobago.” She explained that in the upcoming school term, the Division of Health, Wellness and Family Development will implement the promotion of healthy eating in four schools in Tobago collaboratively with the Division of Education, Innovation and Energy. “This is a preventative measure to help our children eat properly while they are at school” she said.

The Secretary added that each family member has an active role in the fight against diabetes. “The persons charged with the responsibility of taking care of our children must be educated about the type of support they need to provide, to ensure that the disease is managed properly and that the children grow healthily’ Dr. Carrington said. She also encouraged the business sector and other civil groups to partner with the Division in the fight against diabetes and other non-communicable diseases.

Dr. Carrington concluded by commending the organizers and parents and encouraged the children to “fully participate, take in as much information, have lots of fun and share the information with your family members.”

The Diabetes camp is the first of its kind held in Tobago for children affected by diabetes. The primary focus is to teach the children how to manage the disease. The camp will be run from 7th – 11th August, 2017 under the theme ‘Diabetes Care a Family Affair”. Some of the issues to be addressed during this camp include nutrition, physical activity, management and psychological issues with diabetes.

 

From left: Ms. Patricia Nicholson, Master of Ceremonies; Assemblyman Marisha Osmond, Assistant Secretary on the Office of the Chief Secretary; Mr. Primraj Boodram, President of the Diabetes Association of Trinidad and Tobago; and Councillor Dr. Agatha Carrington, Secretary of Health, Wellness and Family Development.

 

Healthy eating game for the participants.

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For further information please contact:

The Communications Unit

Division of Health, Wellness and Family Development

Tobago House of assembly

868-639-3395 Ext. 7271/2

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