The diabetes crisis on St Helena has been picked out as one of the main targets for action by the UK’s Department for International Development (DfID).
It also wants to reduce the island’s dependence on British aid.
The incidence of the killer disease is five times higher on St Helena than the global average – and rising, according to The Castle. It said one in seven people on the island had been diagnosed with the condition in the early months of 2013.
The latest DfID update on its work in the UK’s overseas territories identifies several key targets – including the building of St Helena’s airport.
It says its main objectives for the 14 overseas territories are to:
- Reduce DFID’s contribution to total overseas territory government revenues.
- Increase the number of students passing GCSE English and Maths by 17% in Montserrat.
- Increase the proportion of diabetes patients in St Helena with blood glucose levels under control from 56% to 70%.
- Construct an airport on St Helena to improve air access.
- Agree a way forward for the construction of a new town and port in Montserrat to improve sea access and generate tourism.
It wants to see British contribution to St Helena’s government revenues fall from 58% to 50% by 2014/15, and from 60% to a yet-to-be agreed figure for Montserrat.
Only St Helena, Montserratt and the Turks and Caicos Islands have long-term dependency on British aid.