A 2.5% reduction in the complications of diabetes over the next six months is the ambitious goal of a recently held workshop for diabetics. The workshop armed diabetics, their caregivers and family with information both preventative and curative to help achieve that aim.
Diabetes and hypertension are of great concern to the Health Team of Region Two, Babonneau and surrounding areas, who regularly deal with patients suffering the unnecessary health issues brought on by complications from these diseases. The Region Two team, led by Nurse Mary Joseph Charlery, organised the one-day session to educate concerned residents on how to manage the disease, prevent complications, and help improve the quality of life of diabetics.
Assistance was provided by the Basic Needs Trust Fund (BNTF), which has a mandate to empower communities. The BNTF currently operates as part of the Saint Lucia Social Development Fund (SSDF).
The Diabetic and Hypertensive Association and the Taj Weeks Foundation, also provided materials for the workshop. These include diabetic shoes and kits.
Residents were delighted with the tone of the workshop, which they said clarified much of the confusing litany of information about diabetes and hypertension. Nutrition, foot care, medication, exercise, and prevention of sexually transmitted infections were among the issues addressed.
Podiatrist Deborah Charles, nutrition officer Linda Philgence, pharmacist Richard Chung and fitness instructor Jerome Gideon comprised the comprehensive panel of facilitators.
Diabetes still ranks as one of the top three leading causes of death in Saint Lucia, with serious complications ranging from heart disease, blindness, strokes and kidney failure to amputations and skin problems. Saint Lucia continues to see increases in diabetes and hypertension and these non-communicable diseases are among the top consumers of health care dollars.
The Saint Lucia Social Development Fund (SSDF), which is an amalgamation of the Poverty Reduction Fund (PRF) and the Basic Needs Trust Fund (BNTF). SSDF is funded by regional and international agencies.
(published by the Voice Newspaper)