Basseterre, St. Kitts, November 15, 2018 (SKNIS): The “Family and Diabetes” was the theme of World Diabetes Day, yesterday, Wednesday, November 14. The World Health Organization (WHO) and the International Diabetes Federation (IDF) focused on this theme to highlight the far-reaching effects of diabetes on society.
In an address to the nation for World Diabetes Day, Minister of State with responsibility for Health, the Honourable Wendy Phipps said that the WHO and IDF’s choice of theme for 2018 made the point that when an “individual suffers from diabetes, there is far more than one victim.”
The minister noted that, in the Federation, approximately 50% of households are headed by single females. This makes the effect of diabetes considerable, she said.
“In extreme cases, diabetes can be responsible for the worsening of the socio-economic condition of families, especially if the main breadwinner has uncontrolled diabetes that results in lower limb amputation, disability, job loss and reduced household income,” she said.
Minister Phipps also said that the effects of diabetes not only affects the family financially and physically, but also mentally and emotionally.
She added that in an effort to highlight the major impact created by diabetes in the Federation, the Ministry of Health and the St. Kitts Diabetes Association have planned a number of activities for Diabetes Awareness Week, which runs from November 11 – 18, 2018.
“The week of activities is also meant to emphasize the message to our citizens and residents that we should all individually, collectively and consistently practice having a healthy diet and a lifestyle that includes regular exercise, weight management, annual medical check-ups and a positive mindset,” she stated.
Activities for the week include a Church Service at the St. George’s Anglican Church on November 11, Secondary School Talks and Round Table Panel Discussions hosted by ZIZ on November 12, Diabetes Screening Day at the Tyrell Williams Primary School in Old Road on November 15, Public Screening Day at the Independence Square on November 16, Walk for Diabetes on November 17, starting at the War Memorial, and the Annual General Meeting for the St. Kitts Diabetes Association at the Old Girls’ School in Basseterre on November 18.