Diabetes the “silent killer” – Health Ministry

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.

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11 Comments

  1. bwadiab
    November 18, 2010

    I am a Type 2 diabetic who recently spent some time in DA and it was tough to keep my blood sugar within the range that I have been accustomed to. Most of our foods are carbohydrate based, and the local juices offered by friends and relatives are also laced with sugar. A diabetic really has to be on top of his game when faced with these choices.
    I consider myself to be very educated about the disease and can fully appreciate the pitfalls faced by those who aren’t.

  2. spy
    November 18, 2010

    while people must take responsibilty for their health,its some time difficult to avoid some of the complications that will occur. the ministry of health must step up its effort in response to those needs.
    prevention we need a foot care specialist that lives in dominica,dont tell me so many young people graduating every year and govt cannot find one person to send to specialise in these areas?

    hospital needs a MRI MARCHINE that can be used to detect and treat neuropathy as early as possible. Its like like they are unaware ,but just choose to sit by until it happens to them ,then they run to the states for cares. what is the responsibility of the permanent secretary in the ministry of health? is’nt it to advice the minister on improving the health system? well! well!.

  3. art bristol
    November 17, 2010

    One of the most important things that people with diabetes need to know is what to and not eat,very important. The ministry is doing nothing that i can see to inform these people about diet and exercise.People cant continue to eat plantains and dasheen because of the high starch content in these foods.
    However on the other hand,those foods are been sold at very high prices that not all these people can afford them and the Government dose’nt seem to care or have in place a proper price control on the island.
    The last time i went home and went to get some vegetables in the market for my father i was shocked to hear that a head of lettuce was selling for $10.00 dollars.Thats a damn shame for an island like dominica.
    So the people must die because (1) they are not educated on the desease and how to handle it,and doctors are not prepared to inform them either.
    If the Government was interested in the well being of its citizens it would not allow KFC and all the rest of that crap to be there for its people to eat,knowing how these foods can negatively affect the health of people.

  4. forgetting
    November 17, 2010

    organize a walk and encourage diabetics to participate!

  5. Seriously Speaking
    November 17, 2010

    It is a silent killer. If we discipline ourselves it eat right that would definitely stem the tide. Isn’t it interesting though that the foods that are good for us are most times much more expensive than those that aren’t as healthy. I want to use a lot more vegetables with daily meals but I really can’t afford to do so.

  6. marv
    November 16, 2010

    Diabetes is a serious illness, and much information need to be given out on this disease. It have a lot to do with what we eat. A few weeks ago i was reading some blog on fast food in Dominica, much was said. But I believe it’s some of the main causes that can lead to diabetes and many other diseases. The people of Dominica needs to be informed, from the youth to the elderly, because people need to be know how different foods can have an impact on your body. There is also hypertension that is really a silent killer, with diabetes there are some symptoms, but with high blood pressure there may be no symptoms, untill it’s too late.

    There must be ways to pass information around, I think the schools would be a big start in passing this information to children, who can then pass it on to their parents. Diabetes does attack small children also. Before it get too bad lets get the people informed.

  7. pharm
    November 16, 2010

    Diabetes is not the “silent killer “- certainly NOT ! !
    Hypertension is for sure ! !
    If one looks and know his/her body, they will soon find out whether one is diabetic or not – Symptoms include frequent thirst, frequent urination and also weight loss.If one takes those symptons into consideration and check his or her health provider where treatment diet and exercise can be started
    the life expentancy can be very very long.
    People have lived fifty years and more with Diabetes

  8. Lizavier4Jesus
    November 16, 2010

    Also, why use words like morbidity and mortality. We all exist in the perishing state of mortality whether we have diabetes and other deadly disease or not. Some of us are not even familiar with these words. So it good to inform people, but we need to speak our truth with better clarity and simplicity.

    Most people do not know they have diabetes for a long period of time, until they find themselves experience severe hunger and thirst, which sends them to the bathroom to urinate every five minutes or less. I know this, because I have diabetes, my son has diabetes, and his father has diabetes. I did not have that severe symptom, even if my blood test showed that my blood sugar level was over 20, but both my son and his father’s experience sent them to the doctor, where test results showed blood sugar levels over 40. My son’s father was worst, he was sent to the hospital immediately.

    Yes, it is true that eating properly and exercising will help diabetes, but that habbit does not heal the desease. We have to take medication on a regular basis, to keep blood sugar levels in our body under control.

    Diabetes and Hypertension are rampant everywhere, not only in Dominica. but the problem in Dominica may be that most people with diabetes do not take medication. I met quite a few people who told me that they had diabetes, including my uncle, when I was in Dominica in 2008. But every one of them told me that they did not take medication. I was so concerned about my uncle, he had a bad toe at the time I was there. My concern was that with his age and high blood sugar levels in his body, that bad toe could lead to amputation. But then again, God protects the ignorants, the humble, and the innocents.

    I have had diabetes for the past 14 years. I have never used insulin, but I used two different pills on a daily basis. Sometimes I slack off from them for a while, but that only causes my blood to rise to a an abnormal level, interfering with the way I feel. That is why I know that I should take my medication on a constant basis.

    Perhaps that is the reason for the high level of deaths through diabetes in Dominica. High levels of sugar in our blood affects our liver, kidney, our heart, and our nerve cells. Even if we eat properly and our food do not enter our body system, because sugars are not properly digested, our hunger is still not satisfied. That is the reason we either put on a lot weight or lost a lot of weight. We lost weight through diabetes because our bodies use the fat in us for energy, because the sugar that give us energy is not digested and remains in our blood. In my case, my son and his father we all lost weight. My son lost 100 lbs, in that his weight was the reason for his diabetes in the first place. We put on weight because we eat and drink more than we should because of constant hunger and thirst.

    Finally, as person of faith and with the Life of Love, I know that we can overcome diabetes and every disease of our body. Spiritually, we can speak against the thorns of our flesh and wait with patience for them to depart from us. I am not saying this will happen tomorrow or next week, but God heard that we have called for Life, and that is the reason He sent us to this world. He will give us Life. The state of immortallity–our existence without death.

    The Prophet Isaiah tells us, more than eight hundred years before Jesus came to this world, that “by His stripes we are healed.” Isaiah 53 I have accepted this healing in my Life by the power of God’s Holy Spirit. I have spoken against death as well. Jesus told us “I have come that they might have Life and to have more abundantly.” John 10 I know that I have this Life in Spirit and in Truth. But if it is God’s Will for my days in this world to come to an end before the return of Jesus Christ, then those days will come to an end, but it will not be an end caused by diabetes or any sickness in my physical body.

    Fellow Dominicans, believe my words. But remember that God has also appointed human servants to do His work in our lives–healing of sickness, desease or whatever else. Make sure that you are aware of illness of your body; have faith which builds hope in God through your prayer; but most importantly, go see a doctor. Trust in his/her advice and follow up with a prescription medication that he/she has recommended to you. You need to take medication for your diabetes, otherwise high blood sugar levels in your body is slowly killing you.

  9. sout man
    November 16, 2010

    Very true been diebetic forthe last ten years and don’t know what an insuline shot is .Proper diet and lil exercise dily will do wonders if u’re diebetic.Biggest problem is people wanna eat the same foods that made them diebetic in th first place and compensate with insuline.If we look back in history when people walk more diebetic cases were minimal in d/a.Those who were diebetic were those who didn’t do much walking or any form of physical activity.

  10. mouth of the south
    November 16, 2010

    this article did not give any symptoms of diabetes,,,,yeah i know,,,the mean time i’m online posting i can check google,,,,yeah rite i got it,,,,but if the ministry of health is going to put out statement on something which is a major cuz of death in the land then it would be very informative for them to put out the symptoms also,,,,,most people who are not born with diabetes or has no immediate family member with it,,,will never know if they have diabetes or will tend to pay attention,,,,so that’s why i believe the article should include the symptoms of diabetes since it’s the ‘silent killer’

  11. prissy
    November 16, 2010

    I notice not many people blog on articles like this. My guess it’s not significant enough?
    This is an interesting article people should pay attention to. Start by concentrating on your diets.
    The food you eat and what you drink is a great contributor to obesty which often times lead to
    Diabetes. Excercise, excercise, exercise is the key to healthy living. Forget about KFC and all these Chinese fried foods.
    Vegetables, vegetables, vegetables. You’ll feel healthier and live longer.

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