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World Diabetes Day: MoH urges testing

Wednesday, November 14, 2012 | 10:46 AM    

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KINGSTON, Jamaica - Minister of Health Dr Fenton Ferguson is urging persons to get tested and know their risk of developing diabetes as this he says is one of the first steps to prevent the onset of the disease.

Dr Ferguson was speaking against the background of the observance of World Diabetes Day today under the theme “Diabetes: Protect our Future”.

He said that people should get to understand how the disease works and make the necessary lifestyle changes to combat the chance of its development.

“If you already have diabetes, in addition to engaging in healthy habits, you should ensure you visit your doctor for regular check-ups and carry out the treatment plan as prescribed,” Dr Ferguson urged.

“The ministry continues to take steps to reduce the effects of diabetes and its debilitating complications on the lives of individuals and their families. Efforts have been focused on educating the public about measures to help prevent the onset of as well as to screen for and manage the disease,” he said.

Non communicable diseases kill 36 million persons each year of which four per cent of the deaths are due to diabetes, the ministry said in a release.

Globally, the World Health Organisation estimates that the number of people with diabetes could double to 360 million by 2030 with deaths associated with the disease to increase by more than 50 per cent by 2020, it said.

173,642 Jamaicans over 25 years old and 6,914 youths 15-24 years old estimated to have diabetes.

The disease is one of the leading causes of death accounting for 12.9 per cent of all deaths in Jamaica.

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