Health walk and fair hosted to promote diabetes awareness

DPI, Guyana, Saturday, November 18, 2017

This morning just after 6 am, representatives from various health institutions, associations and Non-Government Organisations (NGOs) assembled at the Square of the Revolution to participate in a health walk to promote awareness of Diabetes throughout Georgetown.

The men and women from the Ministry of Public Health’s Chronic Disease, the Guyana Diabetic Association, the Guyana Diabetic Care Project, the New Guyana Pharmaceutical Corporation (GPC) and the Lion’s Club of Bel Air took to the streets of Georgetown wearing jerseys, carrying banners and distributing flyers, which all bore the theme of this year’s World Diabetes Day theme “Women and Diabetes”.

One of the participants, Professor Brian Ostrow, Project Coordinator of the Guyana Diabetic Care Project, lauded the initiative and said “the way to solve diabetes is through public awareness and through changing the people’s behavioural lifestyle. That is the key and that’s the only way that this pandemic (can be controlled).”

Shortly after the walk, the groups gathered at the car park located just in front of the Stabroek Market and kicked off ‘The Big Blue Saturday” health fair. The team met with the hundreds of Guyanese who were willing, and delivered much needed health care services, aimed at ensuring, early Diabetes detection and control.

Among the services offered were rehabilitation, mental health, and blood pressure and blood glucose testing. Persons were also provided with a wealth of information on the steps to a healthier life.

Speaking with the President of the Guyana Diabetic Association Glynis Alonzo-Beaton, the Department of Public Information (DPI) was informed that 200 million women worldwide are affected by Diabetes.

Alonzo-Beaton explained further that women suffer differently from men in Diabetes. “I know its taboo, nobody likes to talk about sex, but it is important that we address it face on. Women can have vaginal itching, vaginal dryness, pain during sex and their libido decreases…”

Alonzo-Beaton says a woman with Diabetes experiencing these symptoms can manage their condition. Though there is no prescribed diabetic diet, she noted that food can be consumed in portion sizes.

In addition to eating healthy, the necessity of exercise was also stressed. “You exercise, and exercise doesn’t mean going to the gym, putting on fancy clothes. You can do three, ten minutes (exercise) per day that is half an hour,” the GDA president explained.

Apart from these measures, Alonzo-Beaton highlighted that it is important to use insulin as prescribed by medical practitioners. This, she said, is fundamental to managing diabetic conditions. The GDA President attested to being diagnosed with Type One Diabetes but said she has managed to control her blood sugar levels without seeing a doctor in six years.

Alonzo-Beaton encouraged all persons to be checked twice annually for Diabetes. She also added that if diagnosed, treatment and care services are available at the Georgetown Public Hospital, free of cost. There, persons can check with the only Endocrinologist in the country who specialises in treating disorders of the endocrine system, more specifically Diabetes.

In conclusion, Alonzo Beaton added that research has found there is a new existing type of Diabetes. “Recently, there is now, Type Three ‘C’ Diabetes, which is often misdiagnosed for Type Two diabetes.” This is more of the reason why persons should know their diabetic status, the GDA President said.

By: Delicia Haynes

For more photos, click on the link to DPI’s Flickr Page


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