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Turner focus is on STEPS survey

Health Care 24 Apr, 2023 Follow News

Minister of Health, Wellness & Home Affairs - the Hon. Sabrina Turner

World Health Day was celebrated on 7 April which ties in nicely with Sabrina Turner, Minister of Health, Wellness and Home Affairs assessing the health industry in the Cayman Islands.

“Health for all has been an underlying driver in the work of the Ministry of Health and Wellness, and is a key factor fuelling our vision to revamp public health and embrace a data-driven approach to health care policies, services and education,” Turner said in a statement. “Behind the scenes at the Ministry, our team has been working to roll out the upcoming STEPS 2023 national health survey.

“A long overdue exercise, STEPS will allow us to determine the national prevalence for non-communicable diseases (NCDs), as well as their risk factors, in Cayman. We know that heart disease, cancer, diabetes and respiratory illnesses are responsible for the majority of deaths within our islands every year, but to date we still do not know the true impact of these NCDs within our shores.

“The cost of not knowing is simply too high, and one which I know we are all unwilling to keep paying. We cannot proclaim lofty goals such as health for all without doing the work necessary to reach it.”

The Ministry of Health and Wellness will conduct the STEPS 2023 National Health Survey from 3 June- 31 July, 2023. Some key results from STEPS 2012 were that 7 out of 10 adults in the Cayman Islands are overweight or obese, and as many as 40% had raised blood pressure.

Cayman has undergone some significant changes in the last decade, particularly the COVID-19 pandemic. Turner added: “As such, it has come to properly assess the health of the nation and properly determine the national prevalence for heart disease, diabetes, cancer and respiratory illnesses, all of which make up the top five leading causes death among Cayman residents.”

STEPS comprises of three key components; a questionnaire, a set of in-home measurements, such as height, weight and blood pressure, and biochemical measurements from finger-prick blood measurement to determine blood sugar and cholesterol levels.

STEPS is a random survey, which means that 3,300 individuals between the ages of 18-69 will be chosen to participate. These individuals will be chosen from all three islands and the households from each district will be chosen based on a representative sample of the population for each location. 

The results from the STEPS 2023 national health survey will allow not only the Cayman Islands Government, but health services providers, partners in health education, and NGOs to take a data driven approach to policy development, service provision, and prevention and education programming.

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