Scholarship Winner Jamie Hinds Researching Type 2 Diabetes in Barbados
with some Timely Help from BARP
By Sharon Marshall
Jamie Hinds was searching through the UWI Cave Hill Scholarship list when she came across the BARP Charitable Trust Scholarship and determined this was the scholarship that best fit her degree focus. So she applied and emerged the 2019 winner.
The BARP Charitable Trust Scholarship is valued at BDS $10,000, and is awarded annually to nationals of Barbados pursuing full-time, post-graduate programmes at the University of the West Indies (UWI) relating to ageing. This award assists in covering the cost of books, materials and tuition.
Jamie says, “This has given me the possibility to commence my studies, as I had made the decision to pursue my Master degree that year. I wasn’t prepared financially, so I decided to apply for a scholarship. It brought great relief when I realized that I was a recipient as it helped me to focus solely on my studies, not finances.”
She had already earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Human Ecology from the UWI St. Augustine Campus in 2007. Her concentration then was in Nutrition and Dietetics.
The saying that “it takes a village to raise a child” might be cliché for some, but Jamie credits a number of persons with having had an influence on the person she's become: “Firstly, my great-grandmother Myrtle Peters, that raised me, who had a major influence on my character. My teachers at the Lodge School and a few God-sent persons who assisted me from my church family.”
“I always wanted to be an educator,” Jamie confesses. “However, as I went through secondary school my occupational goals changed from chef or hotel manager, then to nutritionist or food technologist after CAPE studies in Food & Nutrition.”
She pursued a Masters of Public Health at UWI Cave Hill, thanks to the scholarship from BARP. In an update to the BARP Charitable Trust at the end of her first semester, Jamie reported that, “Semester one was a challenging, but fruitful. I gained insight into many areas that filled my knowledge gaps and widened my interest in health promotion. Though, research had not officially started, I sought to focus on diabetes and aging wherever I could. Courses such as Social and Behavioural Science and Research Methods assisted greatly in this effort. I am pleased to report that I have successfully passed all courses.” Other courses were Biostatistics, Epidemiology I, Family Health I, Environmental Health, and Qualitative Research Methods.
Jamie has now completed the course work and research phases of her Masters studies. Her research topic was, “The perceived role of social support in self-management of Type 2 diabetes among Barbadians sixty-five years and older before and during the COVID-19 pandemic”. Jamie tells us that, “I wanted to focus on persons living with Type 2 diabetes mellitus in Barbados and with the BARP focus of the elderly, along with the influence of my great-grandmother, I decided to join that focus. My supervisor, Dr. Heather Harewood, contributed in guiding the final topic.”
The rationale for Jamie’s research demonstrates just how relevant the work is, and states in part:
In Barbados, the prevalence of diabetes has risen from 14.1% in 2016 to 17.8% in 2019. Type 2 diabetes is a growing problem among the elderly: the proportion of diabetics has risen from 10.2% in 2013 to up to 13.57% in 2019. Furthermore, in Barbados there has been an increase in the proportion of elderly persons as well as in the occurrence of diabetes-related complications within that sub-population.
The aim of the research was to examine the perceived role of social support in Type 2 diabetes management among Barbadians aged 65 years and over; and to explore participants’ perspectives on how a major external shock (COVID-19) can influence the perceived relationship between social support and diabetes self-management.
Participants were recruited from facilities offering services to persons with diabetes generally and for the elderly in particular, in the NGO sector and from public polyclinics. Interviews were conducted via telephone due to COVID-19 related issues.
While we look forward to receiving her final report on this research, it’s pretty reasonable to assume that Jamie will continue to be engaged in some aspect of this area after she graduates. She says, “I love Health Promotion and endeavour to work with organizations that seek to improve the health of our society throughout the life course.”