Di­a­betes and the skin con­fer­ence

Jamaica Gleaner - - DIABETES WEEK FEATURE - Llore­nia Muir-Green Con­trib­u­tor Dr Llore­nia Muir-Green Pres­i­dent Der­ma­tol­ogy As­so­ci­a­tion of Ja­maica

THE DER­MA­TOL­OGY As­so­ci­a­tion of Ja­maica (DAJ) is honoured to be in­vited by the Univer­sity Di­a­betes Out­reach Project (UDOP) to par­tic­i­pate in the up­com­ing UDOP Di­a­betes and the skin con­fer­ence to be held in April 2017. When most per­sons think of skin is­sues, they first think of acne and eczema, how­ever, the skin is the largest or­gan of the body and of­ten presents signs of ma­jor in­ter­nal dis­ease, in­clud­ing di­a­betes, kid­ney and liver dis­ease. Not only is the skin one of the first ar­eas that may man­i­fest di­a­betes, but di­a­betes sig­nif­i­cantly af­fects the progress of many der­ma­to­logic con­di­tions such as ve­nous leg ul­cers (sore foot), hair loss, and fun­gal nail dis­or­ders.

The DAJ has been pro­vid­ing qual­ity aca­demic ed­u­ca­tion for its mem­bers since its in­cep­tion. Our mem­bers have of­ten been asked upon to give pre­sen­ta­tions at var­i­ous aca­demic con­fer­ences and pub­lic ex­pos. In­deed in the past we have taken up pub­lic cam­paigns to high school stu­dents dis­cussing the ad­verse ef­fects of bleach­ing.

As the cur­rent pres­i­dent, the fo­cus has been to re­po­si­tion the role of the DAJ in the dis­sem­i­na­tion of der­ma­tol­ogy-re­lated in­for­ma­tion to both the gen­eral pub­lic and the med­i­cal fra­ter­nity. This is in keep­ing with the Alma Acta dec­la­ra­tion by The World Health Or­ga­ni­za­tion in 1978 that the ed­u­ca­tion of med­i­cal per­son­nel in pri­mary health care, as well as the ed­u­ca­tion of al­lied pro­fes­sional and the gen­eral pub­lic is paramount for the pro­vi­sion of qual­ity care to the gen­eral pub­lic in any coun­try.

With di­a­betes hav­ing be­come one of the main dis­ease bur­dens in most coun­tries world­wide, in which one in two adults have un­di­ag­nosed di­a­betes, it is im­per­a­tive that all ma­jor and sub­tle man­i­fes­ta­tions of di­a­betes be known by the gen­eral pub­lic and med­i­cal fra­ter­nity at large. This year’s World Di­a­betes Day may be fo­cused on the eyes and screen­ing for di­a­betic retinopa­thy. How­ever, let’s not for­gets the role of the in­tegu­men­tary sys­tem – the largest or­gan – skin, hair and nails.

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