News and insights brought to you by the International Diabetes Federation

Blood glucose screening in Trinidad & Tobago

Education is the driving force to achieve proper management of diabetes. Holistic education for patient adherence is so critical for success and for improving outcomes for people with diabetes that advocates and medical professionals must provide diabetes education for people at all levels including patients with low levels of literacy. We need to help people with diabetes understand their condition fully and be motivated to take care of themselves willingly. The North American and Caribbean (NAC) Region is prioritizing education and has developed their diabetes education programs to suit all education levels.

What follows are association activity examples from the IDF NAC region:


  • St. Kitts and Nevis started 2018 with blood glucose screening, testing and providing diabetes education in local schools. Lectures have been organized for medical personnel and the general public, and are ongoing. They will continue this trend with increased education during the year.
  • The year started with a sad note on the loss of one of the IDFs Young Leaders of Diabetes (YLD) living with type 1 diabetes in Belize. Given this tragic loss, the association took on the need to prioritize care for people with type 1 diabetes, especially with professional counselling. Beginning in April, Belize is working with the World Diabetes Foundation on a new project entitled “Belize National Diabetes Self-Care Programme”.
  • For Guyana, 2017 was a stellar year. The YLDs led many programs and collaborated with the Ministry of Public Health on lay training for “non-medical personnel” and helped strengthen the Guyana Education Department on behalf of the NCD Commission, the Management Board and the Guyana Diabetic Association. The association collaborated with the Ministry of Public Health and the Georgetown Public Hospital Corporation to provide CME for four credits on Kidney Disease and Women. This year we will watch Guyana unfold an exciting cricket competition for the third consecutive year for boys (under 17) with YLD hosting the education sessions and testing.
  • The President of NAC, Glynis Beaton, will be a guest speaker in Atlanta, Georgia (USA) on “How Diabetes Works”. The rest of the year is packed with YLD Awareness outreaches and Exhibitions.
  • The American Diabetes Association is hosting their Annual Scientific Sessions in Orlando, Florida from June 22-26, 2018 and representatives from the NAC Region will attend.


Despite our challenges in the NAC region, we are happy to say we all have one common ground on which we will be emphasizing diabetes education as a key focus for our communities this year.

Glynis Alonzo-Beaton is the Chair of the IDF North America and Caribbean (NAC) region.

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