The Saint Lucia Health Ministry has urged residents to get tested for Diabetes, among the country’s four leading causes of death.
“In Saint Lucia, Diabetes has consistently been among the four leading causes of death,” Senior Medical Officer Dr. Shana Cyr-Philbert disclosed.
She explained that according to estimates, it affects more than ten percent of Saint Lucians.
Cyr-Philbert noted that Type 2 Diabetes accounted for most of the cases seen.
The Senior Medical Officer observed that without proper treatment, Diabetes affects the whole body, leading to eye, kidney, and nerve damage.
“This damage leads to complications such as heart attacks, strokes, Kidney failure, blindness, foot amputations, and eventual death,’ she warned.
Cyr-Philbert’s remarks came in a message to mark World Diabetes Day.
She noted the theme ‘Know your Risk, Know your Response’ was a call to action to all Saint Lucians to get tested to know their Diabetes risk.
The International Diabetes Federation (IDF) estimates that 537 million people worldwide currently have Diabetes, but half are unaware.
“Knowing one’s risk of getting a disease like Diabetes allows the individual to plan what to do for early prevention, early diagnosis, and early treatment,” Dr. Cyr-Philbert said.
The Health Ministry official revealed that Diabetes screening is free at all wellness centres.
Also available at wellness centres and online is a concise survey called the FINDRISC Diabetes Risk Calculator.
It assesses the risk of an individual developing Type 2 Diabetes.
This month, the Health Ministry, the Taiwan Mission, and Massy Stores have partnered in a Diabetes Awareness campaign.
In addition to providing access to Diabetes education and screening at wellness centres, multiple screening sites will be available islandwide.