Message from the chairman

Throughout the region, non-communicable diseases have been on the rise at an alarming rate. Owing to this “tidal wave” PAHO reported that Caribbean Leaders have reaffirmed their commitment to address non-communicable diseases (NCDs) in the region, in a recent meeting in 2015 as 3 of every 4 citizens died of a non-communicable disease.

These NCDs include diabetes, hypertension, stroke, heart disease, kidney disease and cancer are significant underlying causes of death in the region. Prof Henry of the University of Technology, Jamaica noted in 2016 that an increase in obesity in the region is linked to the rise in NCDs and that a significant shift in public policy is required to curb this epidemic. The Bahamas has one of the highest rates of obesity in the region and the sequelae of this is felt throughout all areas of society and is associated with a significant health care cost.
As one of the leaders in health research in the Bahamas, The University of The West Indies, School of Clinical Medicine and Research, (UWI SCMR ) has chosen the theme “Weight Challenges in the Bahamas: Are We the Biggest Losers?” for this year to raise awareness of this issue. The School’s Director, Dr. Robin Roberts as well as the faculty have assembled an elite cadre of international, regional and local experts in the field of nutrition, medical management of obesity and the surgical management of obesity. The abstracts from this year’s conference have been published in the West Indian Medical Journal. The efforts of Dr. Morton Frankson and the Research Unit have made this a reality. We are committed to the dissemination of our unique perspective and solutions.

We welcome the support and the participation of all key stake holders. We would like to especially thank our main sponsor, the Royal Bank of Canada. It is our hope that at the end of this Research Day that our wider Healthcare community will be re-energized to discuss the reality of this serious issue with each patient and steer them towards the path to better health.

“Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it’s the only thing that ever has”- Margaret Mead.

Dr Darron Halliday
Research Committee Chair