Plans to build a Diabetes Research Centre in Saint Lucia, the first of its kind in the Caribbean, will help to set the tone for a “health revolution” on the island.
This is according to the country’s Health Minister, Alvina Reynolds, who said the centre will not only serve Saint Lucians but many other countries throughout the region.
Reynolds noted that many people here and throughout the Caribbean suffer from this very serious non-communicable disease and many of these same people die each day.
The Babonneau Member of Parliament (MP) said it is therefore imperative that the Saint Lucian government take the opportunity to create something that could help save thousands of lives.
WScience Laboratories Chairman and Permanent Representative to the International Maritime Organisation (IMO) Dr Walid Juffal will provide “generous” technical and financial support to establish the diabetes centre here.
Recent health reports indicates that Saint Lucians, including children, are now being diagnosed with diabetes. It was reported that persons 12, 14 and 15 year old are now being diagnosed with Type Two Diabetes which is usually associated with older people.
According to the International Diabetes Federation, in 2014, there were 10,200 reported cases of diabetes in Saint Lucia. Recent statistics shows that over 100 Saint Lucians lost limbs to diabetes in the past two years.
Saint Lucia has one of the highest per capita rate of diabetes in the world.