Literacy and its social implications in the Caribbean

by the Adult Literacy Tutors Association (ALTA)

Literacy is a foundation for other forms of learning and has the power to transform lives. The ability to read and write has taken on even greater importance as we live in a world which relies heavily on text for communication. From reading the newspapers in print or online, to text messages and the advent of social media, people who are unable to read and write are never able to truly develop and participate in society to their fullest potential.

Diabetes and oral health

by Dr. Antoinette Ramdath, D.M.D.

We often hear that uncontrolled diabetes can lead to increased risk of heart disease, stroke and kidney disease, but did you know that it can also lead to gum disease and tooth decay?

High glucose levels in saliva lead to an increase in plaque formation in the mouth, which, if not removed, develops into tartar. Long-term accumulation of tartar around teeth causes severe inflammation of the gums surrounding the teeth and infection of the bone that supports the teeth. This is referred to as periodontal disease and can lead to mobility or even loss of teeth, tooth decay, bleeding gums, and bad breath.

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.