Participants formed a blue circle at the World Diabetes Day Event in Cayman Brac.
By Simone Tatum
The Lion’s Club of Cayman Brac in conjunction with the Cayman Islands Health Services organised a Diabetes awareness event at the Aston Rutty Centre,on Thursday 12 November.
The participants started the evening with a brisk evening walk, after which Pastor Audley Scott gave the opening prayer.
In his opening remarks Faith Hospital’s Dr Velusamy explained Diabetes and its symptoms to the audience dressed in blue shirts sponsored by the Lion’s Club of Cayman Brac.
Dr. Grace Ezema further explained the disease and its consequences during her presentation. She explained what happens in the human body without Diabetes and showed the function of glucose (sugar) and insulin. “Sugar comes from the foods that we eat, specifically carbohydrate foods,” she said.
“The glucose moves around the body in the bloodstream. Some of the glucose is taken to our brain to help us think clearly and function. The remainder of the glucose is taken to the cells of our body for energy and also to our liver, where it is stored as energy that is used later by the body. In order for the body to use glucose for energy, insulin is required. Insulin is a hormone that is produced by the beta cells on the pancreas. Insulin works like a key to a door. It attaches it self to ‘doors’ on the cell, opening the door to allow glucose to move from the blood stream, through the door, and into the cell,” she continued.
“If the pancreas is not able to produce enough insulin or if the body cannot use the insulin it produces, glucose builds up in the bloodstream and diabetes develops. Diabetes Mellitus means high levels of sugar in the blood stream and in the urine.”
The President of the Diabetes Support Group in Grand Cayman, Christine Rowlandson, shared her own experience of living with diabetes. She encouraged the attendees to speak to their doctors about their symptoms and maintain a healthy lifestyle. She also showed the latest medication and ready-to-use insulin pens available and explained their use.
The evening’s entertainment was provided by Georgia Issacs, who contributed a song and by Carrie Grant and Luceta Reece, who presented a humorous version of a life with Diabetes during a short Skit.
Liz Walton who spoke on behalf of MLA Moses Kirkconnell, who was unable to attend the event. During her speech she noted that World Diabetes Day is celebrated worldwide. It brings together millions of people in over 160 countries to raise awareness of diabetes, and Cayman Brac is part of this global diabetes community to produce a powerful voice for diabetes awareness, she noted.
World Diabetes Day is a campaign that features a new theme chosen by the International Diabetes Federation each year to address issues facing the global diabetes community. While the themed campaigns last the whole year, the day itself is celebrated on November 14, to mark the birthday of Frederick Banting who, along with Charles Best, first conceived the idea which led to the discovery of insulin in 1922.
Diabetes Education and Prevention is the World Diabetes Day theme for the period 2009-2013. The campaign slogan for 2009 is “Understand Diabetes and Take Control”. Diabetes imposes life-long demands on the 285 million people now living with the disease. The IDF estimates that over 344 million people worldwide are at risk for type 2 Diabetes. Type 2 Diabetes can be prevented in the many cases by helping and encouraging those at risk to maintain a healthy weight and take regular exercise.
Cayman Brac residents are welcome to attend the Diabetic Clinic at Faith Hospital, the Diabetes support group every last Thursday of the month and Diabetes walks on Saturdays. For more information, please call Dr. Grace Ezema or Nurse Donna Scott at the Faith Hospital at 948-2243.