By Monique Washington
How to beat diabetes was emphasized by World Health Day observations in Nevis on Thursday sponsored by the Health Promotion Unit in collaboration with the Community Health nurse. During the 8:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. event, the public was offered free blood pressure, glucose and diabetes tests. At the same time health providers calculated participants body mass indexes.
The World Health Organization (WHO), sponsors World Health Day around-the-world every April. This year its emphasis was “beating diabetes.”WHO also emphasizes the need for regular checkups.This year’s events also celebrated WHO’s founding in 1948.
“The number of people living with diabetes has almost quadrupled since 1980 to 422 million adults, with most living in developing countries,” according to WHO statistics. “Factors driving this dramatic rise include people being overweight and obese.”
In its first “Global report on diabetes”, WHO highlights the need to step up prevention and treatment of the disease.”
Speaking with the Observer on Thursday, Health Educator Shevanee Nisbett noted that there has been an alarming rate of new case of non-communicablediseases in young persons.
“There has been increase in non-communicable disease and the increase has been effecting younger persons,” Nisbett explained. “Each year the youth population has a higher number of new diseases. Before we used to see new cases in 60 to 80 year-olds, now persons in their 20’s to 30’s contribute to a higher number of new cases.”
Nisbett said screening for diabetes and other health conditions is extremely important.
“The Health Promotion Unit took the initiative to do a health screening,” Nisbett said.“We encourage people to know their numbers, the more you know about your health, the sooner you can prevent certain diseases. We are trying to lower the number of new cases of non-communicable diseases, such as diabetes, hypertension and cancer. The public needs to be aware of how to control and prevent these maladies.”
A nurse was available to counsel and advise persons who discovered during the screening that they had one of the major warning signs. These signs included high blood pressure or a high glucose reading.An information booth was supplied attendees with health information on Zika, safe sex and diabetes. Condoms were also distributed.
Mrs. Blackett, a nutritionist,provided information on proper food portions and what was considered a healthy meal.
Nisbett said that the turnout was significant.