UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon says the people of the Caribbean must take steps towards a healthy lifestyle while governments create conditions to stem the global epidemic of diabetes.

The UN said close to 350 million people in the world have diabetes.

In his message to mark World Diabetes Day on Saturday, the secretary- general reiterated the warning from the World Health Organization that diabetes will be the seventh leading cause of death by 2030.

He said the world recently took a major step in adopting the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, and incorporating a target to reduce by one-third the deaths attributed to non-communicable diseases, including diabetes, by 2030.

In 2012, the UN said diabetes was the direct cause of some 1.5 million deaths, with more than 80 percent of them occurring in low- and middle-income countries.

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