The numbers are staggering.
More than one in five of children in the Cayman Islands
between 11 and 14 years old are overweight; another 15 per cent are at risk of
By 2020, it is estimated that non-communicable diseases such
as high blood pressure, diabetes and heart conditions will account for 60 per
cent of the global disease burden.
And two out of every three deaths of people younger than 70
occur because of chronic disease.
We know the numbers because of studies and surveys.
That’s why it is so important for the residents of the
Cayman Islands to get on board with a health risk survey, which will begin on
Monday, 14 May.
It’s being called Healthy Nation 2012 and will run for eight
Survey takers will visit 2,100 homes in Cayman to help
determine the risks that lead to non-communicable diseases.
They’ll be asking some pointed and personal questions and
take weight and height measurements as well as blood pressure readings. Some
involved in the survey will be asked to undertake blood sugar and cholesterol
checks at the Cayman Islands Hospital at the expense of the government,
insurers and other companies that have a stake in the health of our residents.
Survey participants who are found to be at risk will be
referred to a doctor or a dietician.
The survey will cost $140,000; money well-spent to keep the
people in our territory healthy. Consider the fact that the Cayman Islands
government spent $93.4 million on health care costs in the 2009/10 budget. The
cost of this survey is a mere drop in the bucket and could help keep future
health care costs down.
So, if you and your household are approached by one of the
survey takers – you’ll recognise them by their white T-shirts bearing the
Healthy Nation 2012 logo – please give them your full cooperation.
The information collected in the survey will be kept
confidential and no information about individual cases will be released.