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Conference underscores need for joint approach on combating diabetes on St. Maarten


BELAIR–The need for collective cooperation to combat diabetes was highlighted at a conference on the subject held at the Belair Community Centre late last week.

The conference, organised by the Windward Islands Medical Association (WIMA) brought together medical professionals from across the region and internationally to discuss ways forward in combating the disease. It was held under the theme: “Can We Turn the Tide.”

Prime Minister Sarah Wescot-Williams, who had just returned to the country from the Netherlands, emphasised the necessity to collectively battle diabetes in remarks at the event.

“Good care and prevention makes all the difference in the care for the patients, for their families and for the communities in general,” Wescot-Williams said. “Our health barometer shows that we do indeed face our challenges and we will further get a feel for this when our Health Information Systems are put in place.”

The Prime Minister said the conference was especially important “timely and necessary” given the upcoming observance of World Diabetes Day, which will be on November 14.

She said the conference provided a forum for stakeholders and healthcare professionals to get together to discuss the trends in treatment and care for diabetics. “The trend worldwide with regard to diabetes is quite alarming and St. Maarten unfortunately is no exception.”

The Prime Minister said she believed that “collectively, with the public and private sectors, we indeed can turn the tide; however, there are some necessary requisites important amongst them being education. It should be no wonder that the theme for diabetes internationally is about prevention and education.

“As we contemplate how we can turn the tide and reduce the rate in which diabetes is affecting persons; an important factor is education and understanding what diabetes means for healthcare and our community… We must turn the tide together.”

Source: The Daily Herald, St. Maarten

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