The incidence of breast cancer in Jamaica is high and it is the most common cancer diagnosed in Jamaican women resulting in a high mortality rate compared to other countries in the world. Many women unfortunately are being diagnosed at a late stage reducing their odds for successful treatment and their opportunities for long-term survival. [Read more…]
Diabetes is a major public health challenge in the Caribbean affecting approximately 9% of the overall population in the region and is responsible for more than 13% of all adult deaths. In Barbados, St. Kitts and Nevis, Montserrat, Dominica, and Jamaica diabetes is one of the leading causes of death. For example, in Trinidad and Tobago, and the British Virgin Islands, at least 14 % of the population is living with diabetes. Likewise, in Dominica, one out of every five persons in a public health clinic is afflicted with diabetes. Several factors are responsible for this epidemiological transition from communicable diseases to noncommunicable chronic diseases (NCD) in the Caribbean and this includes aging population, urbanization, physical inactivity, poverty and increasing popularity of western fast food diets. The result is widespread overweight and obesity, hypertension, cancer and other NCDs including diabetes.
Countermeasures are being taken by public health agencies in the region with strategies focusing on prevention, lifestyle modification, diabetes screening and surveillance and health and wellness media campaigns are heavily promoted on all media platforms. In the Bahamas the minister of health is particularly concerned that as many as 27 % of patients with foot ulcers seen in public health clinics were diabetics. [Read more…]
With a population of 65,000 the Cayman Islands has an estimated 4,000 people afflicted with mental health issues, to one degree or another. A report in 2017, said the incidence of mental disorders in the islands grew by 67 percent between 2006 and 2016. Mental health providers are also seeing a need for more long term services as there has been a significant increase in the number of people with suicidal behaviour and substance abuse issues. Dr. Marc Lockhart, chairman of the Cayman Islands Mental Health Commission, said “the number of self harm cases are increasing and we’re seeing large numbers of [intentional] overdose cases.”
Currently, the few residential resources available are at capacity and cannot handle the increase demand so those who in need have to go off island. Patients are sent abroad for treatment either in Jamaica or the United States. Many others who require treatment but cannot be transferred abroad as they are unable to obtain visas because of criminal convictions, are treated in the eight bed mental health unit at the Cayman Islands public hospital in George Town, or cared for by family members, often under difficult circumstances. Now ground has been broken on 15 acres of government land for a long-planned, dedicated, residential facility in the East End of the island that can accommodate up to 54 patients. The new facility will be funded and managed by the ministry of health is expected to be completed by 2021. [Read more…]
In the first nine months of this year cyber criminals have launched ransomware attacks against at least 491 healthcare providers. Since larger healthcare providers have hardened their computer systems against cyber attacks, hackers have now turned their attention to smaller healthcare providers like physician and dental practices with devastating results. [Read more…]
Telemedicine continues to expand into the Caribbean with the Cayman islands utilising telemental health which is counseling conducted by video conferencing. What is more intriguing is that the counseling incorporates the use of a robot as the interface between the client and the counselor. The robot will not be restricted to mental health services but can be utilised for other specialist services not available in the islands. The robot allows doctors on island and overseas to monitor patients remotely. This will be a huge cost savings by allowing the patient to be treated locally instead of sending them overseas for care.