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Diabetic Society of Seychelles raises awareness through Walk-A-Thon | 11 November 2019

Diabetic Society of Seychelles raises awareness through Walk-A-Thon

The start of the march (Photo: Louis Toussaint)

To commemorate the World Diabetes Day, which falls on Thursday November 14, the Diabetic Society of Seychelles organised its annual Diabetic Awareness Walk-A-Thon.

This initiative coincides with the Global Diabetic walk that happens during this week around the world.

A group of fifteen people including the Minister for Health, Jean-Paul Adam, met at the National Arts Council at the Stad Popiler for the start of the traditional walk. They all had a sign in their hands with messages on diabetes.

Dr Murthy Pillay, chairperson of the Diabetic Society, noted that some 12% of the population has been diagnosed with diabetes.

“It is a growing non-communicable disease and it is important for people to test themselves. Screening is super important and that is what we are promoting. Diabetes cases are increasing; in 2013 the diagnosed cases was 6000 and now I am sure that the number has increased. People are not taking diabetes seriously and it is a chronic disease. But if treated correctly you can control it and have a proper lifestyle. This walk is mainly to educate and sensitise the public on the fact that exercise is very important. Maintaining an ideal body weight and doing physical activities are very important. Diabetes is a silent killer and people who already have diabetes have to adopt a proper lifestyle. We have to take care of ourselves to prevent complications.”

Minister Adam seized the opportunity to remind the population that “diabetes is one of the factors that is considered more at risk when it comes to non-communicable disease. More than 12% of our population are already living with diabetes and this number continues to increase. Some of the factors leading to that are people are not doing enough exercises; they are consuming too much alcohol and too many cigarettes and consuming rice and sugar in excess. It is one of the diseases that impact our health care the most. But if a person has a good understanding of diabetes, he or she can control it with a good diet and regular exercise. The key message we are putting forth is if people think that ‘My health is my responsibility’, this will bring a change in our health.”

Regarding the care of diabetic patients, the minister noted that there is a proper programme currently ongoing where the patients are learning how to control their diabetes.

“With the different screenings that happened recently, we discovered new cases of diabetes and these patients are being followed. Let us all lead a healthy life and keep doing your screening every now and then to know your sugar level and act upon it once you know your status.”

Also present at the event was the president of the Seychelles Centennial Women Lions Club Kalaichelvi Karunakaran who also spoke about the various screening activities that both her organisation and the Lions Club organise throughout the year.

The Diabetic Walk-A-Thon started at the Stad Popiler towards the clock tower, to the STC Hypermarket then through Mont Fleuri and back to the Stad Popiler car park.

A free screening was also offered to passers-by.

 

Vidya Gappy

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