During diabetes awareness month, the Downtown Kingston Lions Club presented a diabetes-focused health fair. The club collaborated with the Utech Association of Nutrition and Dietetics Students and the Mico University College Department of Physical Education and Sports to host an entire day of events. Patrons from the greater Kingston and St. Andrew region received free examinations. Available screenings included Blood Sugar Checks, Blood Pressure Checks, Cholesterol Checks, Eye Care Services, Nutrition Services, Doctor Check-ups, Nursing Care, and HIV Testing.
Diabetes is a chronic health condition that affects how our body turns food into energy. Most food breaks down into sugar (glucose) and enters our bloodstream. Whenever our blood sugar increases, it signals our pancreas to release insulin. However, with diabetes, the body doesn’t make enough insulin or can’t use it as well as it should. Therefore, when there isn’t enough insulin or cells stop responding to insulin, too much blood sugar stays in the bloodstream. Over time, that can cause serious health problems.
Often referred to as ‘sugar’ in Jamaica, diabetes is the second leading cause of death for those under the age of 70 years. The Jamaica Health and Lifestyle Survey III (2016-2017) indicates that one in every eight people 15 years and older have diabetes. The survey stated that four out of 10 persons in Jamaica who have diabetes are unaware of their status.
Diabetes Not A Death Sentence Says Lions Club
The World Health Organization says diabetes is among the top causes of death globally, with more than 420 million people currently living with diabetes worldwide. The effective treatment of diabetes compounds by the lack of access to insulin, blood glucose monitoring devices, and other essential medicines.
We have to pay attention to our lifestyle when it comes to non-communicable diseases. A simple remedy for diabetes prevention and care is to pay close attention to your drinks. The sugar content in your drink might surprise you.
Thanks to the Lions Club, we learned that having a diagnosis of diabetes is not a death sentence since you can still live your best life. All you have to do is take action and stick with it.