08th April 2016
Hundreds turned out for the much anticipated Diabetes Fiesta on Thursday at the King George V Grounds in observance of World Health Day.
For World Health Day this year, the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) and the World Health Organization (WHO) focused on Diabetes, part of a campaign to raise awareness of the burden of the disease and the urgent need to step up action for its prevention and control.
Dozens of medical personnel were on hand to carry out screening and give timely medical advice to members of the public.
Members of the general public including those from the Grays-Greene community queued in the numbers to have their screening dome for Blood Pressure, Blood Sugar and Cholesterol, and there also received counsel on Nutrition and maintaining a healthy diet.
Those who were curious about their Body Mass Index (BMI) also had a chance to get such information.
Nurse Coates, one of the medical professionals at the Fiesta conducted foot examinations in keeping with the main highlight of the fiesta.
When asked what she was looking for, she said redness, change in color of the skin, swelling, nail infection and deformities: She also gave a presentation on diabetic food care.
Preceding the screening sessions, a brief opening ceremony was held to declare the Fiesta officially open.
Chief Medical Officer, Dr. Rhonda Sealey-Thomas, who spoke on behalf of the Minister of Health and the Environment Hon. Molwyn Joseph, gave kudos to the Medical Benefits Scheme for the wonderful work they have been doing in serving the diabetic population over the years.
She also lauded them for their continued efforts to educate the public on how to prevent obesity, heart disease and the importance of leading healthy lifestyles.
Dr. Sealey-Thomas also mentioned a number of urgent measures that are necessary to control and prevent diabetes which included expanding health and promoting the environment to reduce the risk factors such as physical inactivity, unhealthy diet and Tobacco and Alcohol use and I want to stress on physical inactivity, unhealthy diets, Tobacco and Alcohol use. Critical as well in diabetes prevention and control is
PAHO's Country Program Specialist, Reynold Hewitt stressed the importance of avoiding unhealthy foods and urged the government to put additional taxes on certain types of goods and products which can do more harm than good with uncontrolled use.
Calls for the need to adopt healthy lifestyles also came from Chairperson of the National Wellness Committee and Non-Communicable Disease Coordinator, Nurse Valarie Williams.
According to statistics from the Medical Benefits Scheme 4,753 people are currently receiving oral medication and insulin for treatment of diabetes and related conditions from the MBS.
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