In 2008, when hope erupted in the United States on Mr. Obama being elected President, I was in a dark place mentally with unfathomable despair. My mother, a 61 year-old diabetic, suddenly died of a heart attack. Soon after, my father became walking dead from a brain hemorrhage. He died in 2015, a shell of a man. As a physician, I should have paid more attention to their health. It is a sadness and personal failure I have to live with.
My parents fell to chronic non-communicable diseases (CNCD; related lifestyle conditions of type II diabetes, cardiovascular diseases, and stroke), and they were not alone in being afflicted by this worldwide pandemic. In Mauritius where they lived and died prematurely, a staggering 40% of the population is either diabetic or pre-diabetic, and yet 80% of CNCD are preventable. This health situation represents a threat to national security for Mauritius. Many nations around the globe are in a similar bind.
My friends and family inspired me to turn despair into resolve for the memory of my parents and for all those who have anguished over the pain and loss that CNCD silently bring. It is too late for my parents, but it is my conviction that it is not too late for the present and future generations in Mauritius, and around the world, to turn the tide against CNCD.
The 5-2035 vision is the resulting labor of love, the aspiration to decrease type II diabetes to 5% prevalence in Mauritius by the year 2035 by empowering communities, working together with experts and the government. To make the 5-2035 vision possible, we need your help, one individual making a difference in one community at a time.
We invite you into advocacy and action to beat down CNCD for ourselves and our children in togetherness. Our motto for the 5-2035 Global Foundation for Community Health is concordia res parvae crescunt: unity makes strength. If we work together, within a generation, we will defeat the threat of CNCD in Mauritius as a model for the world. Please join us.