Halting the diabetes epidemic through healthy eating and exercise

by Dr. Kavita Dharamraj, M.D, M.P.H

In 2015, in North America and the Caribbean, 44.3 million people suffered from diabetes, with an estimated projection of 60.5 million people in 2040 (International Diabetes Federation, 2015, p.83). Approximately 12% of global expenditure was spent on diabetes, which poses a threat to global sustainable development (International Diabetes Federation, 2015, p.11). Healthy eating is an important part of preventing type 2 diabetes and effectively managing all types of diabetes. It is estimated that 70% of type 2 diabetes cases can be prevented by healthy diet and physical activity, causing a reduction of 150 million cases by 2035 (International Diabetes Federation, 2015).

World Autism Awareness Day

Today, 2nd April, we join with the international community in recognising World Autism Awareness Day. The United Nations has identified the 2016 theme as Autism and the 2030 Agenda: Inclusion and Neurodiversity.

"Autism and other forms of disability are part of the human experience that contributes to human diversity. As such, the United Nations has emphasised the need to mainstream disability in the Organisation’s development agenda. Mainstreaming disability requires an integral approach in the design, implementation, monitoring and evaluation of policies and programmes in all political, economic and societal spheres, so that inequality is not perpetuated."
- United Nations, 2016

Towards independence and social equality

The United Nations has declared today, March 21st, as World Down Syndrome Day. This year's theme focuses on "My Friends, My Community - The benefits of inclusive environments for today's children and tomorrow's adults." The Caribbean Research Empowerment Network joins with the international community in recognising this day as we continue to advocate for increased access to health care, education and social services for persons of all abilities. Today, we are pleased to share the words of Ms. Eileen Dunne, Keynote Speaker at the "Towards Social Integration: Rights, Roles, Recognition of Persons with Disabilities" Conference in April 2015, hosted by the Network and Outreach for Disability Education and Sensitization (NODES) and the Disability Studies Unit (DSU) of the University of the West Indies, Trinidad and Tobago. The following is a reproduction Ms. Eileen Dunne's Keynote Address: Towards Independence and Social Equality, delivered on 23rd April 2015. 

Ensuring that persons with disabilities have access to education: A regional responsibility

by Joseph Wangija, Guest Contributor

On the 9th of August, 1965, Singapore’s founding father Lee Kuan Yew was devastated after realising that the merger between Malaysia and Singapore had come to an abrupt end after only two years. Singapore had few natural resources and its prospects did not look promising. One of the few available viable resources was a dilapidated seaport. The residents lacked not just economic resources, but a shared history. Despite those bleak prospects, Lee discovered that economic development could not be attained without human development.To achieve human development, however, educational reforms were a necessary prerequisite. As such, Lee Kuan Yew embarked on educational reforms. Today, with a GDP per capita of US$56,319, Singapore is a developed country (UNESCO, 2009).

Breaking the silence of child sexual abuse in the Caribbean: A community-based action research intervention

By Sandra D. Reid, Rhoda Reddock and Tisha Nickenig

Child sexual abuse (CSA) is prevalent in the Caribbean. In a survey of 15,695 students 10 to 18 years old, Halcon and colleagues (2003) found that 34.1% of children in 9 Caribbean countries were sexually active. Of these, 92.3% had their first sexual intercourse before the age of 16 years, 42.8% before the age of 10 years, and by age 16 to 18 years, 32.5% of males and 9.9% of females had more than 5 sexual partners. Most alarming, however, is that 47.6% of females and 31.9% of males described their first intercourse as forced or somewhat coerced and attributed blame to family members or persons known to their family.