OECS Commission Celebrates World Diabetes Day


The Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States (OECS) Commission, through the Health Unit, has joined the rest of the World in commemorating World Diabetes Day held on November 14th, 2019, under the theme “Family and Diabetes”.

Despite the efforts made by multiple national, regional and international stakeholders to address non-communicable diseases (NCDs), NCDs remain the number one cause of death in the Caribbean.

The burden of chronic diseases, particularly diabetes, is increasing among the OECS Member States, with an estimated 1 in every 4 persons over the age of 40 being affected. With the staggering projected incidence rates for obesity, it is predicted that this figure will continue to increase in the region.

Hence, the OECS Health Unit has committed to the reduction of the number of citizens affected by Diabetes in the Eastern Caribbean, and has also achieved success in multiple areas towards improving the prevention and treatment of NCDs, inter alia:

  • Securing funding valued at USD 400,000 from the World Diabetes Foundation to support the prevention and care of diabetes in Five Eastern Caribbean Countries  
  • Finalising the CARPHA Guidelines for Management of Diabetes in Primary Care, thereby supporting healthcare professionals with providing better diabetes diagnosis, care and management;
  • Mobilising 25 Caribbean countries to finalise a regional strategywhich aims to enhance the prevention and control of NCDs; and
  • Launching a creative photo competition, ‘My Healthier Lifestyle Contest’, aimed at encouraging citizens to take action for the care and prevention of diabetes.

The OECS Health Unit will continue to mobilise efforts with partners such as CARPHA, the Pan American Health Organisation (PAHO) and the World Health Organisation (WHO) to address the issue of Diabetes in the Eastern Caribbean.

About World Diabetes Day

World Diabetes Day (WDD) was created in 1991 by the International Diabetes Federation and the World Health Organisation in response to growing concerns about the escalating health threat posed by diabetes. World Diabetes Day became an official United Nations Day in 2006 with the passage of United Nations Resolution 61/225. It is marked every year on 14 November, the birthday of Sir Frederick Banting, who co-discovered insulin along with Charles Best in 1922.