Families targeted for Diabetes awareness

– As World Diabetes Day 2018 observed

– Intensified efforts ensued for health promotion and prevention of diabetes

– 425 million people worldwide living with diabetes

DPI, Guyana, Wednesday, November 14, 2018

The theme for 2018 and 2019 World Diabetes Day observances is ‘The Family and Diabetes’. For these two years, the focus of concerned stakeholders will be towards raising awareness of the impact of an effective family and support network for persons living with diabetes around the world.

In Guyana, the month of November is dedicated to Diabetes awareness and the Guyana Diabetic Association (GDA) along with the Ministry of Public Health and other supporting agencies have intensified their efforts to promote education about the management, care and prevention of diabetes.

On November 14, the Lions Club – Ruimveldt partnered with the GDA and the Public Health Ministry to host a grand health, wellness and awareness fair at the Stabroek market Square, Georgetown. Persons in and around the vicinity were afforded the opportunity of benefitting from wholistic diabetic testing and referrals.

New GPC Incorporated, Ansa McAl Limited, Georgetown Public Hospital Corporation were among those who came on board to make the event possible.

President of the Guyana Diabetic Association, Glynis Beaton, President of the Ruimveldt Lions club, Dexter Forte and Coordinator of the Chronic Diseases unit, Ministry of Public Health Dr. Kavita Singh spearheaded the exercise.

They each played their part broadcasting the message of how important the family is to lending support to and ensuring persons live longer, healthier lives with diabetes.

Glynis Beaton, President of the GDA said that she has been living with Diabetes for 29 years and highlighted how tough a period it would have been had it not been for her family who generously supported her throughout the years.

Living as a diabetic for 29 years I would not have made it through without my family support and friends’ help. It is important to note that the family is the source of support and is needed whenever one or two persons are affected with diabetes.” Beaton explained.

The Lions Club – Ruimveldt President, Dexter Forte also added his views on the theme. “As you know, when the family is living in the same home everyone usually eats the same kind of food. Foods high in fat; high-calorie diet increases the risk of diabetes and when one has diabetes his or her health depends on a radically different diet.”

In this regard, when families are educated on what they need to know about diabetes, eating patterns and habits tend to change. The new diet regimes instituted in homes tend to encourage family members of all ages to eat healthier and be more conscious of the advantages and disadvantages of the intake of certain foods

Dr. Kavita, Chronic Disease Coordinator, explained that the campaign embarked upon for the next two years, to educate the family, aims to ensure that persons with diabetes have adequate support systems.

We all know that the first union that we ever have as soon as we are born is that of our family. S0, they basically mould us for whatever is to come in the future so it’s very important that we make the family the centre of all our targets when it comes to awareness and education.” Dr. Singh noted.

According to the International Diabetes Federation, Diabetes concerns families since currently, over 425 million people in the world are living with diabetes. Families play a role in addressing modifiable risk factors especially for type 2 diabetes and must be provided with the education and resources to support a healthy lifestyle.

All families are potentially affected by diabetes. Awareness of the signs, symptoms and risk factors for all types of diabetes are vital to facilitate early detection.

Delicia Haynes

Images: Keno George