Roslyn A. Douglas, M.A., Founder of Central Health-Grenada
The St David’s Branch of the Grenada Diabetes Association successfully hosted and educated over 75 residents during its second annual mini symposium entitled, Too Sweet For Your Own Good II. Most attendees were able to be there through a sponsorship from Grenada Public Health Association. (GPHA).
GPHA contributed $300 towards personalized bus services, allowing over 75 St David’s residents to attend the free programme at the Canal. These buses picked up all interested residents from their homes, took them to the event, and returned all safely at its conclusion. As poor attendance to health programmes are largely due to lack of access to transportation, GPHA wanted to stand in that gap, “One of GPHA’s mission is to advocate and promote optimal health of the society in a sustainable manner. In order to achieve this mission, the GPHA will continue to support initiatives, such as the one undertaken by the St David’s branch of the GDA, to keep our nation informed and motivated to protect their health.” said President of GPHA, Lindonne Glasgow.
Other supporters of the event included Hon. Oliver Joseph, representative for the parish of St David through his contacts at Aqua Natural Limited provided water for the attendees. Bryden & Minors freely printed fliers advertising the event, allowing Public Relation Officer Annetta George to post it at strategic locations within St David’s and distribute to churches and schools. The Canal, the host site also offered in-kind services. During the event the Grenada Food and Nutrition Council displayed appropriate food portion sizes on plates and examples of healthy foods for diabetes. Speakers and their topics included Ophthalmologist Dr Elliot Mc Guire – Diabetics & Eye Health, Nephrologist Dr Alban Phillip – Monitor Your Kidneys and President of the Grenada Medical Association (GMA) Dr Francis Martin spoke on the topic Diabetic Sick Days: What To Do.
Within Dr Phillip’s presentation he stated that all diabetics should request from their doctor a kidney function test, especially those who have difficulty controlling their glucose levels, “If you have diabetes and your blood glucose, or blood sugar, levels are too high over time this can damage your kidneys. Your kidneys clean your blood and if they are damaged, waste and fluids build up in your blood instead of leaving your body.”
The take home message from Dr Mc Guire’s presentation on Eye Heath is that as soon as person has been diagnosed with diabetes, they should get a dilated eye examination. This will allow their eye specialist to always compare those initial results with all subsequent ones. The dilated examination allows eye specialists to see if the diabetic patient is developing retinopathy, a complication of diabetes which results in blood vessels within the retina to burst. Retinopathy can lead to obstruction of vision or blindness.
The President of GMA, provided an interactive session covering practical tips for patients on days they simply do not feel well. Whether a diabetic has diarrhea, a cold, or some other health ailment, Dr Martin painstakingly stressed that the first thing a diabetic should do is know their glucose number, “For me, the main objective was for them to understand their illness and understand their disease. Know what feelings they should and should not ignore. Some feelings you should take into consideration others you just need to understand them. Simple things they can do to keep themselves stable, most important of which is knowing your numbers. Whenever anything goes wrong, check your numbers first.”
Too Sweet For Your Own Good II was held on 28 July 2016, and was planned primarily by the Perdmontemps Diabetic Group of the St David’s Branch of GDA. The group meets every third Thursday at 3 pm, rotating location at the various health centres within the parish of St David’s, sharing tips, encouragement and support. They have begun planning events to recognize Diabetes Awareness Month and World Diabetes Day during the month of November. The first confirmed event will be a church service at the Westerhall New Testament Church, on Sunday, 13 November 2016, at 10 am.