Whitehouse gets chapter of Diabetes Association
A chapter of the Diabetes Association of Jamaica was launched Monday in Whitehouse, Westmoreland.
A project of the Whitehouse health district of the Westmoreland Health Department, the launch was part of the activities to mark World Diabetes Day, which was observed internationally by over 132 countries on Monday.
On hand to officially launch the chapter was president of the Diabetes Association of Jamaica, Owen Bernard, who said that diabetes was on the rise worldwide.
Bernard said that 17.9 per cent of persons in the 15 plus age group in Jamaica have diabetes.
“The saddest thing is that most of them don’t know that they have diabetes,” he said.
Bernard said his association has started an education programme called the “Lay Facilitator Programme”, which involves the training of community persons in the care of diabetic patients. These lay facilitators have been trained in the treatment and care of diabetes, and also to render first aid to diabetic patients until the patient reaches a doctor, he said.
The programme, he said, has been so successful that other countries were planning to adopt it, after a presentation at the World Expo 2000 in Germany earlier this year.
Twenty-eight persons from the Whitehouse health district were presented with certificates for successfully completing their training as diabetes lay facilitators.
The Westmoreland Health Department has 1,471 registered diabetic patients, with 139 in the Whitehouse health district.