Monday, 14 November 2016, marked World Diabetes Day. The theme for this year is, “Eyes on Diabetes,” A play on words that hopes everyone will ‘keep an eye on diabetes’ — pay attention to it.
This push for everyone to keep an eye on diabetes is necessary as the International Diabetes Federation (IDF) reports that 1 in 2 adults are undiagnosed. Individuals who are at risk, persons who have symptoms but never got tested for diabetes make up that number. The IDF states that this year’s activities will focus on, “promoting the importance of screening to ensure early diagnosis of type 2 diabetes and treatment to reduce the risk of serious complications.”
At a church service held on Sunday, 13 November, Vice President of the Grenada Diabetes Association Dr Antoine implored members of the Westerhall New Testament Church to take diabetes seriously, “There are a lot of complications that arise out of diabetes. It affects the eyes, the kidneys, the blood vessels, it affects the heart and some persons have amputations. And so, it is a very destructive disease and it kills a lot of people. So we want everyone’s eyes to be focused on it. Not only today and tomorrow, but throughout. Those who have not been focusing on it can start, especially those who are at risk.”
Dr Alister Antoine’s remarks came as part of the St David’s Branch of the Grenada Diabetes Association’s annual church service. This year, the Westerhall New Testament Church was selected for the commemoration of diabetes awareness month. Pastor of the church Jude Hector allowed Members of the St David’s Branch to give a video presentation that outlined their efforts and distribute free diabetes materials to the congregation at its conclusion.
In response to the IDF’s mandate the St David’s Branch of the Grenada Diabetes Association has partnered with the Student National Medical Association (SNMA) chapter of St George’s University (SGU) to host a Free Diabetic Clinic on Saturday, 19 November 2016. This event will be held at the Communal Co-operative Credit Union’s parking lot, located in Perdmontemps — St David’s from 9 am to 1 pm. At the event the SNMA of SGU students will be conducting foot examinations, eye examinations, blood pressure screening and glucose testing.
To date, pharmacies such as Mitchell Health and Wellness Pharmacy, St David’s Pharmacy and True Blue Pharmacy have donated free lancets and testing strips for the upcoming event. Other in-kind gifts have been provided by Gabriel’s Pharmacy with medical supplies; St Dominic’s Roman Catholic Church have committed to tables and chairs for the event and Bryden and Minors provided free printing of the promotional materials. Many more in-kind donations are expected.
The St David’s Branch of the Grenada Diabetes Association is looking forward to serving its community at the FREE Diabetic Clinic. Any resident of St David over the age of 18 is permitted to attend. To know if you are at risk for diabetes, take a free online test — click here.