The STEPS 2023 National Health Survey, an endeavour from the Ministry of Health & Wellness to collect data on non-communicable diseases (NCDs) and their risk factors, wrapped up on Sunday, 3 September.
The STEPS survey was made up of three parts: STEP 1 consisted of a questionnaire which asked participants about their lifestyle and behaviour; STEP 2 was made up of in-home physical measurements including height, weight, and hip and waist circumference; and STEP 3 was a finger prick blood measurement conducted by a nurse.
“Overall the survey response was quite successful, as we had over 1900 participants for STEP 1, 1700 participants for STEP 2, and 1000 participants for STEP 3,” explains National Epidemiologist, Ms. Rachel Corbett. “This means that we have nationally representative data on the risk factors for NCDs, which will be incredibly helpful in planning public health interventions and services for the future.”
“I believe it is important to recognise just how much work was put into this endeavour,” Chief Medical Officer, Dr. Nick Gent, adds. “It took over 10 months of planning, 13 weeks in the field, 37 enumerators, 24 nurses, 5 supervisors, as well as multiple partnerships including with the Economics and Statistics Office (ESO), the Health Services Authority (HSA), the Cayman Islands Red Cross, the Royal Cayman Islands Police Services (RCIPS), the District Administration office, and even the Public Library Services (PLS). All of which was coordinated by a team of four at the Ministry, with multiple other projects and demands on their time.”
“I am very grateful to everyone who has ensured that our national health survey was such a success,” states Hon. Sabrina Turner, Minister for Health & Wellness. “To our Ministry team, our field team, our community partners, and most of all those who were randomly chosen to participate who agreed to be a part of this: thank you. This was truly a national effort: we were in all districts, on all of our three islands. For the first time we have nationally representative data for all three STEPS, and I look forward to being guided by this information in my decision making.”
The survey data is being processed by the Ministry team. Some preliminary results are expected in Q4 2023, and the full report is anticipated in Q2 of 2024.
“We look forward to sharing the survey results with partners, stakeholders and the community,” Minister Tuner adds.