'Diabetes is the second leading cause of loss of limbs in the region'

Published: Friday | March 20, 2009


Professor Errol Morrison, the director of the University Diabetes Outreach Programme, UDOP, and president of the University of Technology (UTech), says diabetes is the second leading cause of loss of limbs in the region.

Morrison was speaking at a press conference as part of Diabetes Month at the Hilton Kingston hotel on Monday. A special conference is also set for Ocho Rios, St Ann, March 26-29.

He said motor vehicle accidents are the number one cause of limb-loss in the region, followed by diabetes.

He pointed out that studies are being done to get accurate data.

"We are now seeing diabetes as a leading cause of heart and blood vessel disease and a leading cause of damage to the heart. In Jamaica, diabetes is the second leading cause of death," emphasised Professor Morrison.

The UTECH president said diabetes was now a pandemic. Morrison said over the next two decades, diabetes will jump by 55 per cent in some countries in the Caribbean. He said this was largely due to lifestyle behaviours.

Meanwhile, Sanofi-Aventis, a leading pharmaceutical company, is helping to educate persons in the region on diabetes control.

The company, which is headquartered in France, has teamed with UDOP, to spread the message about diabetes control.

District Manager at Sanofi-Aventis, Marc Kendall, said the company is committed to supporting diabetes awareness in Jamaica.

"One of our missions is to create awareness for UDOP and the work that they are doing in the country. We'll help to highlight their upcoming conference in Ocho Rios from the 26-29 of March," said Kendall.

The conference is the premier regional event in diabetes where experts from the Caribbean exchange treatment ideas on the disease.

Fair facts

The health fair will be held on Saturday, March 21, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the UWI Open Campus, 2A South Camp Road, Kingston 4.

There will be 12 doctors on call to deal with queries throughout the day, and all services will be entirely free of cost.

The event is sponsored by JIS, the Jamaica National Building Society, MegaMart, Juici Patties, and Catherine's Peak Water.

The 2009 Events Management Class is comprised of 35 students and is the largest cohort since the course was introduced two years ago. There have been nearly 200 graduates, to date.