The Grand Bahama Health Services World Diabetes Committee will stage a set of activities for World Diabetes Awareness Month, the media was informed during a press conference at the Rand Memorial Hospital (RMH) on Friday (November 10).
Nicole Bain, Chairperson of the World Diabetes Committee stated that November is designated Diabetes Awareness Month. The committee will be celebrating World Diabetes Day on Tuesday, November 14.
The day will begin with a special talk show, featuring a panel of medical experts about the disease, and a pediatric child will share her experience of living with diabetes. The committee will also be bringing awareness into the schools, one being a high school in Freeport and a primary school in West Grand Bahama. The plan is to go to blue every Friday and have t-shirts on sale.
“This year’s theme is Our Right to a Healthy Future,” said Bain.
She informed that World Diabetes Month is a response to the ever-increasing concerns about the escalating health threat that disease poses. The month also puts focus on the importance of establishing diabetes education and prevention programs with a view to stem the global pandemic.
“Diabetes is one of the leading devastating and ravishing diseases in the world and type 2 diabetes is the fourth leading cause of death in the Bahamas,” she said.
She added that persons who are suffering from diabetes, develop serious complications like heart disease, kidney failure,and loss of feelings in the limbs ending with extremity amputations. There is no cure for the disease.
Bain furthered that the key message is that, through proper and intense education throughout our community, persons living with diabetes can lead a productive life through proper management as the disease progresses. Diabetes is not a death sentence.
“We here at Grand Bahama Health Services have put measures in place to assist those persons living with this disease through the development of the diabetes support group,” she said.
She explained that there would be two support groups, one for the adult population and one for the pediatric population. The adult support group meets every Tuesday at RMH and the pediatric support group session is held every fourth Friday of each month.
Elsie Hepburn, Co-Chairman of the World Diabetes Committee, revealed that this year there will be a concentration on women with diabetes, specifically gestational diabetes.
Gestational diabetes develops during pregnancy (gestation). Like other types of diabetes, gestational diabetes affects how your cells use sugar (glucose). Gestational diabetes causes high blood sugar that can affect your pregnancy and your baby’s health.
Expectant women can help control gestational diabetes by eating healthy foods, exercising and, if necessary, taking medication. Controlling blood sugar can prevent a difficult birth and keep you and your baby healthy.
“We’re really advocating for it to be put in place, that women would be able to have ease of access to affordable health care that really would help them to manage their disease through pregnancy,” she said.
Hepburn further informed that women who would have developed gestational diabetes are more likely to develop type 2 diabetes later on in life. The committee will also demonstrate measures that women can use in their homes to control the progression of the disease.
“Women are the forerunners in the home so they have a great impact in terms of what their families eat, what they pick up in the store,” she said.
The Committee encouraged all residents to participate in the upcoming activities.