Diabetes target ‘unlikely to be met’

Mixed results have been reported on efforts to tackle St Helena’s massive diabetes problem – one of the worst in the world.

Health workers have succeeded in performing annual checks on registered diabetics, according to the aide memoire issued at the end of the annual Development Assistance Planning Mission from the UK.

But it adds: “The 51% target for patients with blood glucose levels under control is unlikely to be achieved.”

The last figures published – in 2011 – showed there were 570 diagnosed diabetics on the island, most with the type 2 version of the condition.

Hypertension was also a serious issue.

Diabetic clinics had been set up on the island, led by a specialist nurse, though at one point the service came under strain because of staff shortages.

The condition is linked to obesity and poor diet, as well as genetic factors.

The health service had seen “generally good” performance in dealing with non-communicable diseases.

Some UK funding from the Health Link 3 project, which ended in March 2012, had still not been spent. Agreement was needed on how it should be used, said the aide memoire.

 

 

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