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(PRESS RELEASE) – Saint Lucia continues to receive aid from a foreign based organization, focusing on diabetes management and treatment for the people of Saint Lucia.
After 15 years of service in Saint Lucia, the Ministry of Health & Wellness felt this year was necessary to highlight the support and positive impact the Saint Lucia Diabetes Project has had on the lives of Saint Lucians and by extension the Health sector. Saint Lucia Diabetes Project is a charitable organization from the UK which provides doctors and nurses with training and a wealth of knowledge to assist patients and individuals living with diabetes to better manage their condition. Mary Matthias is the Founder and chairperson for the Saint Lucia Diabetes Project.
“Coming here we are probably recreating what they already know but at least adding some extras of what we do in the UK. Cause diabetes is something which is worldwide and you can never have too much knowledge about diabetes, cause things change, medicines change, thoughts change, research brings out new things, new thinking and it is good to be able to impart these to other people to other health professionals and of course to patients by giving the health professionals what we know, they in turn will pass it on to patients because diabetes is something that is now worldwide and it is a big epidemic and of course little countries like Saint Lucia and the rest of the Caribbean who doesn’t have the economic strength to fight this thing and even the big countries who have the economic strength they are having problems as well because of what is happening, what we eating, the changes that is happening in the world and generally with our health.”
The program commenced on Monday October 8th and will run for two weeks. Health professionals from the north of the island is currently in attendance at the Saint Lucia National Mental Wellness Centre whilst Health Professionals from the South will be engaged at the St. Jude Hospital during the later stages of the two week stint. Meanwhile, the Trainer Jenny Bentley said this training will benefit Saint Lucia on a whole.
“There are a lot of diabetic patients in Saint Lucia, the diabetic clinics are extremely busy and we are trying to enable patients to do as much for themselves as they can to keep themselves as well as possible particularly to keep well, to avoid foot ulcers, to prevent hospital admissions.”
Bentley added that, lifestyle changes plays an integral role in preventing and controlling the disease.
“Healthy eating is a huge part of this, it is one of the main things we are focusing on at this training. So it is not just what you eat but the portion control size as well. Things like how much exercise you get because with people as they get older obviously aren’t mobile but they do need to keep moving because inactivity is another risk factor with diabetes.”
Bentley went on to say how ecstatic she was, knowing that St. Jude Hospital has recorded a reduction in amputations. She applauds Saint Lucians for implementing the self-management strategies in their daily lives.