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Prime Minister Freundel Stuart as he unveiled the plaque declaring the centre open.

 
   

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Barbadians told to take charge of their health – as the The Maria Holder Diabetes Centre for the Caribbean is opened

2/3/2014

Barbadians must take control of their lifestyles to reduce their chances of being diagnosed with diabetes.

This was the strong advice coming from several parties as for the first ever a centre fully dedicated to this non-communicable disease has opened its doors in this island.

The Maria Holder Diabetes Centre for the Caribbean located in Warrens, St. Michael, boasts a diabetes clinic downstairs, which will feature a food and wound care department. Meanwhile, diabetes education and research will take place upstairs. It will also be home to the International Diabetes Federation’s offices.

Speaking at the opening yesterday evening, Chairman of the Barbados Diabetes Foundation Dr. Oscar Jordan stressed that the continual rise in the number of persons being diagnosed with the disease is worrying.

Noting that the “fast food culture”, motorised transport and sedentary lifestyles were exacerbating the problem, he urged Barbadians to get fit and to eat healthy in their steps to prevention.

Jordan outlined that the introduction of the centre would help reduce amputations by a significant amount within five years; a significant drop for the country which is called the amputation capital of the world.

“It will through education and early intervention reduce the number of people developing end stage conditions such as blindness, end stage kidney disease requiring dialysis and reduce the number of amputations by at least 30 percent within the first five years and therefore significantly the bed stress at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital. In so doing, we would reduce the burdensome cost to government of managing diabetes,” he stressed.

Meanwhile, Acting Regional Representative for the Pan American Health Organisation Dr. Ernest Pate indicated that North America and the Caribbean have the highest rates of diabetes in the world, at a rate of 1 in 10 persons.

He said that the centre would create an overall reduction in the cost and burden to the state and ensure that diabetic persons embraced the concept of self-management. (JMB)

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