Basseterre, St. Kitts, August 28, 2019 (DBSKN) — The St. Kitts Diabetes Association, a non-governmental organisation (NGO), is embarking on an exciting and aggressive educational drive to sensitise workers in all sectors on the dangers of diabetes and how to manage the disease with the aim of increasing productivity at the workplace.
President Nurse Christine Wattley and Public Relations Officer Dr Reginald O’Loughlin made the disclosure on Friday August 23 at the offices of the Development Bank of St. Kitts and Nevis in Basseterre when they briefed the institution’s Marketing Officer Ms Vernitha Evelyn-Maynard on the work the St. Kitts Diabetes Association has been doing in schools and at public forums.
According to Dr O’Loughlin, the association is organised to take part in the battle against diabetes and hopefully to assist in stemming the flow of the complications seen so frequently which include amputations, blindness, and kidney failure among others. The association holds activities to educate and to screen in order to pick up diabetes as early as possible.
“We recognise that picking it up early would help to introduce the necessary changes that can help to prevent, or delay the onset of some of the complications,” observed Dr O’Loughlin. “We do things like educational presentations every three months and we do screening almost every month. We have gone through all the primary schools and high schools, and now we are planning to enter into institutions like Development Bank, National Bank, TDC, Police, the Army, with the hope that we may pick up some who do not know and we may be able to advise and let them know, hey, this is what you need to do in order to hopefully not end up blind; not end up with one foot.”
The association’s President, Nurse Christine Wattley said persons end up with sicknesses as they will be fighting chronic kidney diseases and other complications, noting that from an economic standpoint those are the persons who work, which results in production going down. She further stated that persons who borrow from banks to build homes when they get sick, get blind or get amputations, they are unable to service their loans which makes the country’s economy suffer.
Speaking on behalf of the Development Bank of St. Kitts and Nevis, Marketing Officer Ms Vernitha Evelyn-Maynard commended the St. Kitts Diabetes Association for coming up with such a noble idea as many organisations and institutions bear the brunt of the effects of complications brought about by diabetes due loss of valuable man-hours as workers seek treatment.
“Diabetes is one of the four major types of non-communicable diseases that people do not realise that they have it until it is too late, which ends up translating into a lot of lost man-hours and a drain to our Social Security,” noted Ms Evelyn-Maynard. “The idea of sensitising persons at the workplace is a noble one and we at the Development Bank of St. Kitts and Nevis have agreed to partner with the St. Kitts Diabetes Association to bring this message home to the workforce in the country.”
In the meantime, President of the St. Kitts Diabetes Association, Nurse Wattley said that the association is a member of the International Diabetes Federation. The world body holds a congress every year and the local association sends two delegates to the congress. This year the congress will be held in South Korea, and the association will be holding a major fundraiser to raise funds to send the two delegates.
“Every year we hold a week of activity to commemorate World Diabetes Day which is held on the 14th day of November,” said Nurse Wattley. “This year the week of activity starts on the 10th and ends on the 17th of November. For the week, we are going to be focusing on education, educating the public in the media, in the schools, and we are going to have the opening of the diabetes week by the Minister of Health. The opening of the week will be marked with a church service.”