Nov 12, 2015 News
-conducts mini fair to kick off Diabetes Awareness month
Keen efforts are being made at the Georgetown Public Hospital Corporation (GPHC) to arrest the prevalence of diabetes. According to GPHC’s Nutritionist and Diabetes Educator, Djamilsa Lambert, an awareness approach is being used as a strategic tactic to help combat the chronic disease.
According to Lambert, what has been the observed trend in some families with a history of being overweight is that, when they reach a certain age they have a chance of developing diabetes.
“So you see mothers, grannies and children all being diabetics in the same families, so we really have to target how the eating pattern is being done at home in order to help them make changes in the future generation.
“Maybe it wouldn’t happen for this generation but for their children so that they can change how they eat so the risk of them developing diabetes can be reduced,” said Lambert.
Yesterday, GPHC commenced a month of diabetes awareness activities. International Diabetes Day will however be observed on Saturday with a walk spearheaded by the Ministry of Public Health.
A mini health fair was yesterday held at the hospital. It sought to target those attending the weekly diabetic clinic, as well as other interested persons. Another mini health fair is slated for next week Wednesday.
According to Lambert, every Wednesday the hospital conducts a diabetic clinic and it was with this in mind that “We chose the opportunity to provide the (clinic) population with information concerning all the different areas in which diabetes is involved.”
Moreover, patients were afforded presentations delivered by representatives of the Eye Clinic which focused on diabetic retinopathy, another from the Nephrology Clinic and the Foot Centre which Lambert heads.
Patients were also enlightened that diet is an important factor in diabetic care. “We were there informing them about meals; the types of foods that they can incorporate in their meals and giving information how they could plan their meals and even how a diabetic should eat,” said Lambert.
“We want them to be aware that they should eat about five to six times per day; three meals and about two to three snacks. Every three hours a diabetic should eat something,” said the Nutritionist.
Accompanying the advice, including the fact that foods higher in healthy carbohydrate are better for diabetics, are nutritional guides, which according to Lambert, and are readily available to patients.
According to Lambert, yesterday, patients were privy to the use of measuring cups with the aim of also raising awareness about the importance of quantities. “They (patients) have to portion it. Often they are not aware what is really the right quantity and that may vary according to their body mass index (BMI), the age of the person but there is more or less of an idea what they should eat in order to control their blood sugar level,” Lambert added.
According to her, the message that was particularly emphasised yesterday was that while the medical team is the facilitator of information, diabetes is really a concern of the patient. “We want to provide them with enough knowledge for them to control their condition.”
And controlling diabetes, she noted, is as easy as “simple life changes” that could see patients better managing their condition.
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