News Releases

Diabetic Study results done by DERPI presented at UWI

For Release Upon Receipt - January 17, 2011

St. Augustine

The Metabolic Syndrome is a widespread syndrome with a prevalence of 25% in the developed world and a surprisingly higher (and increasing) prevalence in developing countries.  In 2007, the Diabetes Education Research and Prevention Institute (DERPI), was established under The Bhagwansingh Hardware Trust, to research the disease and determine early preventative measures. The launch of the results of the DERPI Project research will be presented on Tuesday 18th January at the Daaga Auditorium, UWI, at 3 pm.

This project was aimed at providing information about diabetes in children and adolescents in primary and secondary schools in Trinidad and Tobago. This is the first study of this nature and magnitude to be conducted in Trinidad and Tobago and the Caribbean. This project was significant as many of the deaths caused by the Metabolic Syndrome, can be prevented by improving early detection. Prevention of diabetes in childhood is likely to be more cost effective than treating complications that accrue from undiagnosed or under-treated disease. Earlier recognition will add many years of quality of life.

The cross sectional survey was performed among 67,000 school children aged 5-17 years in Trinidad during 2009 for urine glucose. It was determined that in testing every 100 000 children, 10 children with type 2 diabetes and 19 children with difficulty in handling ingested glucose, were detected. As many of these children heralded undiagnosed Type 2 diabetes in the family, DERPI proposed to intervene on all family members in the household, who were willing to participate in a family-oriented, school/community-based intervention.

DERPI’s intervention focused on the promotion of healthy eating behaviour, physical activity, diabetic education and the creation of a suitable environment for the acquisition of the knowledge, skills and attitudes to understand and address chronic disease. 

The Members of the Board of Directors of this collaborative effort between The University of the West Indies and the private sector are Professor Surujpaul Teelucksingh, Dr. Rohan Maharaj, Dr. David Rampersad (Secretary) Mr. Vishnu Ramlogan (Chairman, Finance), Dr. Brian Cockburn (Treasurer), Dr. Bhoendradatt Tewarie (Chairman), and the representative of the Medical Board of Trinidad and Tobago

For further information on DERPI and its work, please contact Ms Crispin Gomez, the Office of the Trust Chairperson, at (868) 662-2002 Ext. 3938 or


About The DERPI Trust

The Trust has been established to ‘operationalize’ existing knowledge on the treatment and prevention of diabetes into effective, immediate interventions.  It is expected that this will help prevent the potentially exponential increase in cases of Diabetes in Trinidad and Tobago through a series of interventions and projects aimed at education and prevention, most of which will be community based.

The Trust will also support cutting edge research to increase existing knowledge about the disease in the local context.  The research agenda will be built upon existing work currently being done by researchers in several Faculties at The UWI as well as by those operating in the field who have already made significant inroads and discoveries on their own such as the identification of the “Slippery Slipper Syndrome” the “Ticking Thumbtack Sign” and a new subtype of Diabetes, MODY Type 4.

Contributions from Donors will be invested and the income from such investments will be used for operating capital and to fund organisations for specific projects corresponding to criteria developed by Trustees.  Among other things, the Trust will fund the following:

  • Education in the field of Chronic Non-Communicable Diseases at the national level with the emphasis on those groups most at risk and under-served groups
  • Interventions designed to ensure that Prevention is at the heart of the treatment of Chronic Non-Communicable Diseases
  • Cutting edge research in the field of Chronic Non-Communicable Diseases, specifically the care of Diabetes and its associated diseases including the following:
  1. Cardiovascular Disease
  2. Hypertension
  3. Physical disabilities resulting from Diabetes
  4. Blindness
  5. Stroke related diseases  
  6. Social aspects of Chronic Non-Communicable Diseases, specifically the ability of patients to respond to daily life


About UWI

Over the last six decades, The University of the West Indies (UWI) has evolved from a fledgling college in Jamaica with 33 students to a full-fledged University with over 40,000 students. Today, UWI is the largest and most longstanding higher education provider in the English-speaking Caribbean, with main campuses in Barbados, Jamaica and Trinidad and Tobago, and Centres in Anguilla, Antigua & Barbuda, The Bahamas, Belize, British Virgin Islands, Cayman Islands, Dominica, Grenada, Montserrat, St Kitts & Nevis, St Lucia, and St Vincent & the Grenadines. UWI recently launched its Open Campus, a virtual campus with over 50 physical site locations across the region, serving over 20 countries in the English-speaking Caribbean. UWI is an international university with faculty and students from over 40 countries and collaborative links with over 60 universities around the world. Through its seven Faculties, UWI offers undergraduate and postgraduate degree options in Engineering, Humanities & Education, Law, Medical Sciences, Pure & Applied Sciences, Science and Agriculture, and Social Sciences.