Ministry to conduct WHO health survey of 3,300 homes

| 14/03/2023 | 24 Comments
WHO STEP survey in the Cayman Islands, Cayman News Service

(CNS): The Ministry of Health has announced plans to undertake the World Health Organization’s “STEPS” survey in June. The internationally comparable, standardised and integrated surveillance tool allows officials to collect, analyse and disseminate core information on noncommunicable diseases (NCD). Noting the importance of getting a true picture of NCD in the Cayman Islands, officials said that 3,300 households would be sampled, randomly selecting one person aged 18-69 from each household to participate.

The survey will incorporate households within all three Cayman Islands proportionate to each island’s population. The Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) is providing technical assistance and guidance throughout the eight-week survey process.

“Understanding the true picture of NCDs within our islands has been a key priority of my ministry since I took up office in April 2021,” said Health Minister Sabrina Turner. “We cannot get to that place of clarity without reliable and relevant data, which is why undertaking this national survey is so important.”

STEPS is conducted in three parts. STEP 1 is made up of a questionnaire where participants report on their own health. This gathers information from participants to assess genetic factors, health behaviours and lifestyle choices such as diet, tobacco use and other risk factors for NCDs, National Epidemiologist Rachel Corbett explained. “It’s helpful to understand the prevalence of those risk factors in the population.” she said.

STEP 2 is the taking of basic measurements in the participant’s home. This will include a blood pressure reading as well as weight and height measurements. STEP 3 consists of a finger prick blood test to measure blood glucose and cholesterol levels.

“The STEPS methodology is a holistic way to gather information that will have a direct impact on how we understand the health of the nation,” said Chief Medical Officer Dr Nick Gent. “We cannot strengthen public health nationally without having reliable data, and the STEPS survey will help us address that gap.”

Starting next week, the team from the Ministry of Health and Wellness will be conducting an awareness and education campaign that will include more detailed information on the survey and what residents can expect when it begins. Along with appearances on local radio shows, public service announcements and a social media campaign, the team will also be announcing district meetings and virtual information sessions to answer questions from the community.

“It is important to reiterate from now that the information gathered via the STEPS survey will be collated, sorted and reported in keeping with international best practices and data protection legislation,” Turner said. “This means that data will be anonymised and no one will be able to identify anyone’s personal responses and results. I want to make this clear so that people are not dissuaded from participating due to misinformation.”

Turner added, “If we, as a people, really want to see a robust health system that adequately addresses the needs of our population, we need to take a data-driven approach to decision-making and programming, and this requires participation from our population as they are the keepers of this data.”

NCDs are diseases that are usually linked to health-related behaviours and are not spread through infection or from person to person. Cardiovascular (heart) diseases, diabetes, chronic respiratory diseases and cancer account for the majority of NCD deaths globally.

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Category: Health, Medical Health

Comments (24)

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  1. Anonymous says:

    If local Public Health existed they could inform WHOever that there us..
    A BIGG Dental Health crisis. 5 month minimum for appointments and NO Dental Surgeon in all of HSA.
    A HUGEEE Mental Health Dilemma. Expats and most locals alike suffering from overwork and under insurance.
    A SAD occupational health situation where then injured are sent home (DOA) and replaced.
    A WICKED plan of local self medication through booze, cigarettes vapes, prescription meds and “soft” and hard illegal drugs.
    Better for WHO to hold public meetings.
    Ask Kenny to raffle $100,000 for each 3 minute interview. A big sample or a comprehensive survey.

  2. Anonymous says:

    You want me to share my medical and personal information with WHO? They can talk to my furry, fierce, growling side kick about that. And I don’t think he will agree.

  3. Hmm says:

    Remember when people were protesting about the right to choose whether to be vaccinated, the right to decide if something was injected into your body? It is wise to remember that such freedoms were hard-won, but easily relinquished. Now they want my blood, but it’s all “for a good cause, and what could go wrong?”

    Will we be forced again this time? No, not really forced. Just that you cannot work, travel or enter businesses if you don’t comply.

    Sorry, but I don’t believe we the people are being told the truth about what this testing is really about. NCD’s have been around a long time. Why the sudden interest? Hmm?

  4. Anonymous says:

    Please do a quality of housing survey of rental properties in mid to low rental market instead of noncommunicable diseases. The data would be more useful and relevant. NCDs should be reported through the medical doctors and hospitals.

  5. Anonymous says:

    Time and money would be better spent on organizing a process and system to collect anonymized (?) data from doctors practices, with the appropriate permission of patients, so that these govt supported surveys can be completed without door-stepping by unknown and unqualified minimum wage civil servants and volunteers. Like other posters here, I’m not sharing any personal or medical information with a random guy who knocked on my door, even if CIG sends me a letter. Don’t ask.

  6. Anonymous says:

    1 April already…?

  7. Anonymous says:

    They are looking for the unvaccinated and more victims. The census just took place, the info is there. Please my people DO NOT participate in this WHO/WEF driven agenda.

  8. Anonymous says:

    Still trying to build a nice little empire for recent friends from across the pond. We already have the framework in place to get this information, this is just another attempt by this useless Ministry to pretend they are doing something for the taxpayers.

  9. Anonymous says:

    What makes me think the vast majority of the random Lt selected households will tell them to take a hike? The reaction of the public to the census, vaccination participation and general suspicion that their medical data won’t be confidential – let alone their lifestyle choices on alcohol, tobacco and diet – doesn’t bode well.

  10. Anonymous says:

    Random selection of us……….again, and again.

  11. Anonymous says:

    Absolutely appalling. The Government does not need to “strengthen public health nationally”. If anything, it needs to provide quality information on making healthy choices in diet, exercise, stress reduction and sleep. Similarly the WHO is an unelected body that has no right to be collecting data on the health of anybody.

  12. Beaumont Zodecloun says:


    Those are tasks performed by my primary care physician, not some minimum wage temporary worker. I have nothing against the census/poll people, which is, I suppose, why my home is always “randomly selected.” The pollers are just making their way, no problem. They can ask question in my yard, and I will answer the questions that aren’t intrusive.

    When someone shows up for Step 1, I will inform them that I am unwilling to perform Step 2.

    Here’s an idea: Why not fund a simple report from HSA which compiles the stats they require, but omits the patient’s name? HSA, while they don’t treat everyone, treat a significant number of us, and they always insist upon those variables being measured prior to an appointment (well, except for the finger prick).

    This is part of the problem. They want to take a finger prick, undoubtedly to measure blood sugar, however that won’t be a significant measure, given that there is no data being gathered as to how recently the person ate, how much they’ve had to drink(water and other liquids), or time since activity. Thus it will be a statistically imperfect measure and therefore flawed data.

    It’s a no from me.

  13. Anonymous says:

    Keep the gate locked! Not getting any information from me

  14. Anonymous says:

    Seeing as how government seems to have a privacy breach every other week it’s going to be a hard sell to get anyone to willingly give up all this medical information to people who can’t even get their year-end financials done on time and correctly.

  15. Anonymous says:

    Oooooh, a survey! Well this changes everything, Cayman is saved! Finally!

  16. Anonymous says:

    This type of information is personal and, unless volunteered willingly, CIG cannot compulsorily force persons to provide such data.

    If it attempted to do so, this would breach fundamental human rights to privacy rights (under 9, Constitution) and the Data Protection Act.

  17. Anonymous says:


  18. Anonymous says:

    Primary care physicians should be able to anonymously tally-up their clinical totals for various ailments and submit those to CIG without door to door invasions of privacy or actuarial re-categorization of the population.

    • ANON says:

      That leaves out people who don’t or won’t attend their GP. Witness 6 people caught a recent rotary screening that required emergency treatment.

      • Anonymous says:

        how about can’t because they don’t have money to fork over for the ridiculous co pays the government still hasn’t adjusted to fit the providers costs.

        • Anonymous says:

          And yet the insurance rates go up – even though we are paying the providers increases!! Insurance is a scam

      • Anonymous says:

        How will those 6 people self-report an illness they don’t know they have? Let’s try to make sense.

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