Press Release:-November is here and this is the month where much emphasis is placed on the awareness and prevention of diabetes, the dreaded disease which affects a significant number of the population either directly or indirectly.
That is the key message coming out of the Launch of the Diabetes Awareness month organized by the St. Lucia Diabetes and Hypertension Association (SLDHA).
According to Dr. Shana Cyr, who represented the Ministry of Health, this disease is a global problem affecting approximately 6% of the world population and no effort must be spared in reducing the number of cases here in St. Lucia.
“I take diabetes seriously because too often I watch persons, even young persons go from relatively independent healthy individuals to men and women who lose their ability to see, to men and women who have their limbs cut off, kidneys who don’t work, who are unable to eat by themselves, who are unable to walk and a lot of the times beadwinners who are unable to provide for their family. The sad reality is that diabetes is a growing burden and the increasing trend of sedentarism coupled with an unhealthy diet drives the epidemic.
President of the SLDHA, George Eugene though lamenting the lack of support given to the association particularly by the authorities, is pleased that there have been strides in using technology to advance the mission of his organization and about to embrace a new initiative in order to achieve their objectives..
“We are now looking to form a St. Lucia/Tenacia advisory board. This board will be fully responsible for the project development in St. Lucia. This project is a pilot project the American Diabetes Association is fully involved and there are other industries in the US who are interested in this project. This project has never been done anywhere in the world.”
The focus of the training in the Tenacia-SLDHA proposal is foot care, nutrition and diabetes education.
Hon. Lennard ‘Spider’ Montoute, the Minister for Equity and Social Justice addressed the gathering and promised greater government support as the scourge of the disease affects the productivity of the nation.
He indicated his desire to encourage more physical activity among the population.
“As the minister responsible for the NCA which has responsibility for parks and beaches, I am hoping that we can begin to establish parks throughout our various communities and in those parks we establish centres where people can carry out their exercise and physical activity and do this as well on the beaches. We are blessed with lovely weather, we are blessed with the various sites where we can establish such facilities. That is a culture I think that we can develop and will be in our interest and to our benefit.”
Massy Distribution Ltd, Massy Stores (SLU Ltd ),LUCELEC and the St. Lucia Blind Welfare Association have collaborated with the SLDHA for the observance of Diabetes awareness month under the theme “Eyes on Diabetes.”