Diabetes is the second leading cause of both morbidity and mortality in Dominica.

This is according to the Ministry of Health on the occasion of World Diabetes Day, observed on November 14, annually in the Caribbean and across the world.

According to statistics from the ministry’s Health Information Unit, some 228 people died from Diabetes related complications in 2009 and 205 new cases were reported for that same year.

World Diabetes Day 2010 ran under the theme ‘Lets Take Control of these Conditions.’

Diabetes is associated to lifestyle practices, which can be modified and necessitates individual and collective efforts, the health ministry said in a statement in which it also describes the disease as “the silent killer.”

The ministry said Chronic Non Communicable Diseases (CNCD) such as diabetes, heart disease, hypertension, stroke, and cancer remains a priority as it continues to take several initiatives targeting the prevention and management of these conditions.

It said it would continue to draw attention to the disease and raise awareness of the need for individuals and communities to take active control of their health.

“The Ministry of Health also recognizes the significance of education and health promotion on Chronic Non Communicable Diseases and to this end great emphasis is placed on school health programs, community education programs and the provision of an integrative management approach at both the primary care centres and hospitals,” the ministry said in its statement.

People with diabetes, it adds, can play an essential role in managing their own condition, understanding the signs and symptoms and make the necessary adjustments to prevent complications.