Against the backdrop of a growing number of obese persons and those affected by non-communicable diseases (NCD’s) here, Barbados will shortly be introducing a ‘Chronic Care Model’ dedicated to managing such illnesses.
With the island preparing to join countries across the globe in observing World Diabetes Day today, Chief Medical Officer (ag) Dr Kenneth George has disclosed that the Chronic Care Model will be located at the soon to be opened David Thompson Health and Social Services Complex in St John.
“This model has as its element an empowered patient, an engaged and informed community, and a well-trained cadre of health care professionals leading to the desired outcome of better patient management,” Dr George said at the Frank Collymore Hall Wednesday night prior to a lecture presentation on diabetes.
The featured speaker for the diabetes lecture was Dietician of the McGill University School of Dietetics and Human Nutrition, Dr Maureen Rose, and the event was hosted by the Diabetes Association of Barbados, whose slogan for its 40th anniversary and tomorrow’s worldwide observance is, ‘Living Well with Diabetes, Keep the culture, Cut the Fat.’
Delivering opening remarks, Dr George said the Association’s slogan, “is highly appropriate , particularly as 70 per cent of adults and 30 per cent of struggle with being overweight and obese.”
Narrowing his focus to diabetes, a disease caused by obesity and other factors, Dr George noted a World Health Organisation report which stated that 347 million people worldwide are affected by the illness last year, and that the International Diabetes Federation of North America and the Caribbean has put the figure at 39 million for this region.
He said that within the regional number, there were 30,000 Barbadians.
“Over the last five years, specifically from 2008 to 2013, we have seen an increase by 2 per centage points of diabetes mellitus in Barbados. This translates to an estimated 18.5 per cent of adult individuals living with diabetes.”
Dr George reported that the findings of a 2013 National Health Accounts Study for Barbados, “showed direct and indirect cost of health care for diabetes was $15 million and $74 million respectively.”
He said, “Barbados’ per capita health expenditure ranked the third highest in the Caribbean during this period, with 50 per cent of the total health expenditure on secondary and tertiary care.”
The medical official added, “This high expenditure on secondary and tertiary care suggests the need for strengthening of health promotion and the renewal of primary health care strategies to reduce the number f patients with NCDs.”