Diabetes Training For Public Health Professionals

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In its continuing effort to curb the rise of diabetes in Barbados, the Ministry of Health collaborated with the Diabetes Education Task Force (DET) to host the first ever training session in insulin management for public health care professionals last Thursday.

The session, which took place at the headquarters of the Pan American Health Organisation (PAHO), brought together doctors, nurses and pharmacists working in polyclinics islandwide.

Chief Medical Officer of Health, Dr. Joy St. John, welcomed the public health workers to the training session which, she said, was vital, given the continuing rise in both diabetes and obesity in Barbados.??According to Dr. St. John, statistics revealed that the prevalence of diabetes in Barbados, which stood at 14.9 per cent in 2007, had jumped to 16.8 per cent by 2012. ???We are going in the wrong direction,??? she warned.

In terms of obesity, she said the situation was also worrisome, since not only were the numbers increasing, but men, who previously lagged behind women statistically, were now catching up.??She explained that the DET was bringing ???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, and its membership is drawn from the public and private sectors, as well as non-governmental organisations.??Senior Medical Officer of Health, Dr. Kenneth George, also addressed the participants, noting that this initiative was part of a larger strategy within the Ministry of Health to address the challenges posed by non-communicable diseases (NCDs).

He highlighted another initiative, which he said, would be community-based. Dr. George explained that in an effort to reach more people in communities, the Ministry has joined forces with the Diabetes Association of Barbados and PAHO to train community leaders who have chronic diseases to share information on prevention and control of NCDs with members of their communities.

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