‘Eyes on Diabetes’ for World Diabetes Day
Diabetes is a worldwide pandemic, which affects over six percent of the global population. The situation in Saint Lucia is critical as governmental and non-governmental agencies are busy trying to find strategies to cope with the disease that ranks as the third leading cause of death. Moreover, it reaps severe financial and social havoc on many families and the nation at large.
On Monday, Saint Lucia joined the rest of the world in the annual observance of World Diabetes Day (WDD). The Ministry of Health and Wellness, Saint Lucia Diabetes and Hypertension Association and the St. Lucia Blind Welfare Association occupied some sections of the Sir Stanislaus James Building on the Waterfront to offer free diabetes and hypertension screening services to the public. Nurse Claudius Desir, a Public Health Nursing Supervisor was on hand to explain what was happening.
“We are not diagnosing anybody for hypertension or diabetes,” Desir said. “We are actually conducting screenings, and based on your results we refer you either to your doctor or your local wellness center. We also have the nutrition officers doing nutritional counselling for persons we have found with high readings.”
There is a co-relation between diabetes and eye health which is the reason this year’s theme is ‘Eyes on Diabetes’. Denise Godin, the Eye Health Officer of the Saint Lucia Blind Welfare Association says diabetic retinopathy is of great concern to the SLBWA.
Nurse Alma Dolor, Public Health Nursing Supervisor for Region Seven says the SLBWA is making great strides with the use of electronic applications to assist in various aspects of vision screening.