BASSETERRE, St. Kitts — The “Family and Diabetes” was the theme of the Nov. 14 World Diabetes Day. 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 percent of households are headed by single females. She said this makes the effect of diabetes considerable.

“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,” Phipps said.

Minister Phipps also said the effects of diabetes not only financially and physically affects the family, 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 began Nov. 11 and end Nov. 18.

“The week of activities is 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.

Remaining activities for the rest of the event include: Nov. 15, Public Screening Day at Independence Square; Nov. 16, Public Screening Day at the Independence Square; Nov. 17, Walk for Diabetes starting at the War Memorial; and Nov. 18, Annual General Meeting for the St. Kitts Diabetes Association at the Old Girls’ School in Basseterre.