In observance of World Diabetes Day, the Lions Club of Diamond-Grove held an interactive session and screening for diabetes at the Ramada Princess hotel.
Chairperson of the Georgetown Public Hospital Corporation (GPHC), Kesaundra Alves, delivered the feature address on behalf of the Minister of Health Volda Lawrence.
Alves outlined that in the region of the Americas, “there are some 54 countries where the situation is quite alarming. Guyana and Trinidad occupy the top two positions with regard to the incidents of diabetes and deaths of persons during their working life and those becoming sick or chronically ill or disabled due to diabetes.”
According to the chairperson in 2015, there were a recorded 49,800 cases of diabetes and in the World Health Organization country profile for 2016 it was revealed that most deaths occurred in the 30 to 69 age range. 160 men and 180 succumbed to diabetes in Guyana for that year.
Alves noted too that the sustainability of the country’s economy will be severely compromised if on a yearly basis human resources are lost at this rate. The health official urged persons to be more cognizant of their health and reiterated that that disease can be prevented or better managed by a change of lifestyle that helps to reduce the risk factors.
“Diabetes is a long-term condition that causes high blood sugar levels so first, we have to take a look at our diet. It is ill-advised to indulge in eating habits that will jeopardize our health so let’s craft a healthy eating plan, one that has less consumption of sugar, our sugary drinks and snacks and all the processed foods high in sugar that we consume, it is crucial that we control our blood glucose levels so let us take a keen look at the household nutrition and make the appropriate changes.”
Speaking directly to the theme of the session “Women and Diabetes – our right to a healthy future” Alves revealed that women are more affected than men and less able to withstand the burden of the disease. She also advocated for increased physical activity and exercise and also for the person to put wellness as a priority while highlighting the dangers of being overweight, smoking and alcohol consumption.
Alves observed that data is instrumental since it will allow health officials to monitor patients more effectively and devise action plans and strategies based on the trends that emerge in from the data. This, she said, will prove to be cost-effective in the long run and will generate empirical evidence that will be an effective tool.
World Diabetes Day is observed every year on November 14.