The Diabetes Association of Jamaica was founded in 1976 by the Lions Club of Kingston & St. Andrew. We are a charity that has the responsibility to develop and implement a nationwide plan for diabetic treatment, education, and training and is set up to provide diabetes prevention and care to the public.
The work of this Association goes beyond its main operation, 'the one stop shop', that undertakes the operation of seven branches and two chapters, conduct outreach activities (health checks/screening) and diabetes educational workshops across the island. In addition to offering secondary and primary care with the Ministry of Health through diabetes education, there are also other services such as Eye Laser Treatment, Kidney Dialysis, and Pharmaceutical services.
Additionally, we sponsor community projects for a minimal donation. It is hoped that if and when resources are available regional clinics may be established, and assistance developed for distribution of all diabetes products and drugs.
A survey conducted in 1993 by the University Diabetes Outreach Project (UDOP), revealed that 17.9% of the Jamaican population over the age of 15 has diabetes. This was approximately 200,000 in persons in 1993; in 2001, this amount had increased to 327,000 persons. This increase is mainly due to improved life expectancy from the reduction in prenatal and infant mortality rates. With the aging population, there will also be an increase in chronicity.
The Diabetes Association of Jamaica functions through the work of volunteers and has been providing diabetes care for the past 30 years. Our team consists of Endocrinologist, Ophthalmologist, General Practitioner, Nutritionist, Psychologist, Chiropodist, Education Officers and Medical Technicians.
The concept of this Association is to offer all diabetes related services under one roof 'the one stop shop'.
On average, 8,000 persons use the various services each month from all branches; this does not include persons seen on the outreach programs.