Basseterre, St. Kitts, November 14, 2017 (SKNIS): The Honourable Senator Wendy Phipps, Minister of State with responsibility for Health, announced that St. Kitts and Nevis is celebrating the observance of World Diabetes Day which is commemorated annually on November 14.

Senator Phipps, at the sitting of today’s National Assembly, said that Non-Communicable Diseases (NCDs) under which diabetes is categorized, is one of the leading causes of disability and death in the federation.

In delivering an address focusing on this year’s theme, “Women and Diabetes – Our Fight to a Healthy Future,” the Senator expressed that there are considerably more women than men in the federation living with diabetes. She said that 71 percent of the overall persons registered in the public health care system as diabetics are women which generates a great concern for the Ministry of Health.

“At some point, diabetes is going to affect us negatively as it relates to families and women’s participation in the world of work,” she stated.

To date, there are approximately 1300 persons in St. Kitts and Nevis living with diabetes, and of them 900 are female.

Minister Phipps stated that the Ministry is collaborating with the St. Kitts Diabetes Association (SDA) to facilitate a week of events in honour of World Diabetes Day. She thanked the association for being a major driver of diabetes awareness and a promoter of a positive lifestyle in the federation over the years.

“The Ministry of Health congratulates the St. Kitts Diabetes Association in what they continue to do every year in terms of health promotion and education,” she stated.

The week of activities for World Diabetes Day will continue with a Diabetes Screening at the Dr. William Connor Primary School on November 16 from 10:00am – 11:00am, a Public Screening in the Independence Square on November 17 from 8:30am – 12:00pm and the Diabetes Awareness walk on November 18. The walk will begin at 5:30am from the War Memorial, continuing to the Eastern Caribbean Central Bank (ECCB) and back.

The Honourable Minister encouraged the general public to take advantage of the activities that are being held and also the health care services that are available to persons suffering with NCDs. She also stated that the Ministry – and by extension the Government – will continue to promote “a healthier nation” and do what it can in its capacity to ensure “genuine prosperity for all.”

“It tells us that in St. Kitts and Nevis there is a lot that we have to do and there is a lot that we are doing, but there is so much more that we need to do, but in order to get it done, we need the full support of the general public,” added Senator Phipps.

Minister Phipps’ address to commemorate World Diabetes Day will air tonight on ZIZ Radio at 7:45pm.