November 14 marked World Diabetes Day (WDD) and the Collective Prevention Services (CPS), a department of the Ministry of Public Health, Social Development and Labour, along with the Diabetes Foundation of St. Maarten, commemorated WDD in collaboration with at least four pharmacies namely, Philipsburg Pharmacy, Simpson Bay Pharmacy, St. Peters Pharmacy and Bush road Pharmacy.
The aforementioned collectively created screening opportunities for persons to check their blood glucose and pressure at the respective establishments. In addition to the offered blood glucose and pressure, CPS offered free dental screening, which will continue next week Tuesday from 2.00pm to 4.00pm.
CPS extends its heartfelt thank you to its participating community partners for their role in creating the screening opportunity and promoting awareness about diabetes, its management and prevention, and collectively creating an opportunity to share or educate those persons seeking information.
Diabetes is a chronic disease that occurs either when the pancreas does not produce enough insulin or when the body cannot effectively use the insulin it produces. Insulin is a hormone that regulates blood sugar.
CPS handed over a few placemats and Diabetes pin to the participating Pharmacies for their respective clients making use of the created opportunity.
World Diabetes Day was created in 1991 by the International Diabetes Foundation and the World Health Organization (WHO) in response to growing concerns about the escalating health threat posed by diabetes.
The 2017 theme for WDD was: “Women and Diabetes.”
Diabetes continues to be a serious public health challenge. Since 1980 the number of people with diabetes has increased four-fold to 422 million, and in 2015 an estimated 1.6 million deaths were directly caused by diabetes.
This does not account for the additional impact of high blood glucose, which causes around two million deaths annually by increasing the risk of cardiovascular and kidney disease and tuberculosis.
Poorly controlled diabetes aggravates the risk of debilitating and costly complications, such as blindness, kidney failure, heart disease and stroke, and lower limb amputations.
Healthy diet, regular physical activity, maintaining a normal body weight and avoiding tobacco use are ways to prevent or delay the onset of type 2 diabetes.
Diabetes can be treated and its consequences avoided or delayed with diet, physical activity, medication and regular screening and treatment for complications.
For more information about diabetes, consult your general practitioner or contact the Diabetes Foundation of St. Maarten.
PHOTO CUTLINE: The 2017 WDD Team.