Tuesday 21 November, 2017

Cayman marks World Diabetes Day with free health screenings

In recognition of World Diabetes Day, free health screenings will be offered in the atrium of the Cayman Islands Hospital in George Town on Tuesday from 8:00 am- 2:00pm

The screenings are offered as a result of a partnership between the Health Services Authority and the Lions Club of Tropical Gardens.

Minister of Health, Dwayne Seymour, in showing his support for the initiative, urged Caymanians to pay attention to the information received from their healthcare professionals on the subject of diabetes and ways in which the serious illness can be prevented and controlled.

“While diabetes is widespread amongst men in our community, I am pleased to have the spotlight shone on women for this particular occasion,” said Seymour.

This year’s theme, “Women and diabetes - Our right to a healthy future”, was chosen by the International Diabetes Federation.

“Diabetes is a widespread problem in the Caribbean, including here in the Cayman Islands, where the condition is often referred to as “sugar”,” added Seymour.

Seymour noted that if left untreated, diabetes can cause serious complications such as blindness, cardiovascular disease, kidney failure leading to dialysis, and lower-limb amputation.

Globally, diabetes is the ninth leading cause of death in women, causing 2.1 million deaths each year.

One in 10 women are living with disease.

Women with diabetes have more difficulty conceiving and may have poor pregnancy outcomes. Without pre-conception planning, type 1 and type 2 diabetes can result in a significantly higher risk of maternal and child mortality and morbidity.

 “In light of this knowledge, all residents, women and men, are encouraged to be proactive and take advantage of the many health checks that are offered on the islands through health fairs and other community related activities,” said Seymour.

“Each of us can also take steps to avoid developing diabetes, or to help control it if we already have the condition. Simple measures such as eating a healthy and balanced diet, as well as taking regular exercise, can make a big difference. It is also important to avoid tobacco products, alcohol and illegal drugs, “ added Seymour.

Seymour further added that, “ I n years gone by, children in the Cayman Islands had very active lifestyles, but these days it is all too common to see them occupied on their phones, tablets or computer games.”

Seymour used the opportunity to urge parents to ensure their sons and daughters incorporate physical activities into their play times, and take part in sports in their teenage years.

“So while we focus on “sugar” for World Diabetes Day, let us remember that this is a condition we must be aware of all year round. Let’s focus on education, treatment and care for all,” Seymour added.

A public education session on the topic of women and diabetes in the Hibiscus Conference Room at the hospital, from 5.30 p.m. to 7.30 p.m.  The scheduled speakers are consultant obstetrician, Dr. Gillian Evans-Belfonte, and pharmacist/diabetes educator, Winsome Jefferson.