Census reveals high level of disability among women in region

Deputy Prime Minister Chris Saunders at the census press conference

(CNS): One of the most concerning statistics revealed by the census is the number of Caymanian women suffering from the debilitating health consequences of non-communicable diseases, Deputy Prime Minister Chris Saunders said at the press conference marking the release of the 2021 Cayman Islands Census. Population and Housing Report.

He noted a “remarkable” difference in local women’s health outcomes when it comes to disabilities and diabetes, as he raised the possibility that the cause of the higher rates could be cultural issues or diets. He said it was one of the trends that seemed to him to be a priority issue.

“The only number that really upset me was the health number in terms of diabetes, arthritis and everything else,” he said in response to a question from CNS at the press conference. last week. “When you look at the split between Caymanians and non-Caymanians it was quite significant in terms of the difference, and also when you look at the numbers between males and females it was also significantly different with females being more high.”

According to the report, diabetes affects 4.6% of the population, arthritis 2.2% and cataracts 2%. But a breakdown of the statistics shows that Caymanians are three times more likely to suffer from a debilitating disease than non-Caymanians. More women than men are disabled, although women now make up less than half of the population at 49.3%, a reversal of the 2010 census figure.

Women have a higher incidence of all disabilities except hearing and communication disabilities, at 167.6 per 1,000, compared with 127.2 men per 1,000. Caymanians aged five and older have a significantly higher disability incidence rate at 219.8 per 1,000, compared to non-Caimanians at 64.2 per 1,000.

However, this difference between locals and non-Caimanians is likely due to the fact that older residents are much more likely to be Caymanians, given immigration policies. According to population figures, the number of people aged 65 and over has almost doubled since the 2010 census, to 5,602 people from 2,832 a decade ago, and now make up 7.9% of the population. , the fastest growing demographic.

Saunders said Health Minister Sabrina Turner would look very closely at these trends to develop policies to tackle high levels of disability.

“Some of the most basic functions of any government are to make sure that you have an educated and healthy population,” he said, noting that education was going in the right direction, but health needed a deep dive, given that 95% of the people here make their living providing a service.

“People cannot provide a service or support their families if they are not healthy,” he said. Saying the ministry will expand its “wellness” mission to promote healthy living, Saunders said “we are concerned about the health numbers”.

For this census, there was a more comprehensive set of questions on disability, measuring duration and severity and associated illnesses, as well as level of insurance coverage and type of insurance. About 93.1% of the total population had health insurance, but just over 91% of Caymanians had health coverage compared to 95.5% of non-Caymanians. Just over 18% of all residents had government-provided health insurance.

See the full report on the ESO website.

Watch the press briefing on CIGTV below:

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