Social Security and Montserrat Diabetes Association Team UpWritten by Hazel D. Adams Riley
SWEENEY’S, Montserrat – The Montserrat Social Security and Montserrat Diabetes Association on Friday July 1st teamed up to fight lifestyle diseases, particularly diabetes. In an eight hour Health fair, held at the Brades Arts and Education Centre, members of the Montserrat Diabetes Association and employees of the Montserrat Social Security served the public.
The Montserrat Diabetes Association members checked blood pressure, blood sugar, measured waist line and height, and calculated the body mass index (BMI) of those who attended. They offered counseling to the large number of persons who were borderline, or who had been diagnosed with diabetes.
Montserrat Social Security employees, answered questions about the Social Security scheme. This activity formed part of the Social Security celebrations for 25 years of Service to the Montserrat Community.
The fair was a follow-on for an initiative launched some months ago, where Social security sponsored the first in a series of training sessions for recently diagnosed members of the community. The program was executed by the Diabetes Association under the guidance of Mrs Valerie Lewis Lynch, President of the Association.
At the graduation ceremony held at the Look Out Community Centre, it was revealed that there were high incidences of lifestyle related claims. Diabetes is reducing the productivity of many employees. It is therefore in the interest of the Social Security department to sponsor this course. It is also in the interest of members in the community to manage their disease, but more importantly to prevent it from occurring.
While there is no known cure for the disease it can be controlled. Diabetes is known as the silent killer. It is one of the major health issues in the region and the developed world and is on the rise particularly among the young. The biggest risk to diabetics is ignorance of the facts.
Diabetes is a disorder that affects the way the body uses food for energy. Normally, the sugar content in food is digested and broken down to glucose, a simple sugar which is then circulated by the blood to body tissues. In diabetics this process breaks down, and blood sugar levels become too high as the body is unable to produce or produces too little insulin, a hormone produced by the pancreas. This can damage nerves or blood vessels and may lead to complications.
Nerve damage from diabetes can cause persons to lose feeling in their feet. Diabetics may not feel a cut, a blister or a sore. Foot injuries such as these can cause ulcers and infections. Damage to the blood vessels can also mean that the feet do not get enough blood and oxygen. It is therefore harder for the foot to heal, if persons get a sore or infection. This may even lead to amputation.
Additional complications of diabetes include eye disease, kidney failure, the increased likelihood of heart disease, nerve damage, impotence and stroke.