Diabetes health fair provides access to care for Portmore residentsFriday, November 26, 2021
BY KEVIN JACKSON
THE message of controlling diabetes rang loudly on World Diabetes Day, which was celebrated on November 14.
As part of its corporate responsibility and to commemorate the day, Portmore-based Joong Pharmacy, located on Newland Road, held a diabetes care health fair targeting people from surrounding communities who suffer from the chronic condition.
Dorraine Williams, managing director and chief pharmacist at Joong Pharmacy, said she was led to organise the health fair as she realised there was a gap in access to diabetes care and prevention among customers.
“World Diabetes Day provides an opportunity to raise awareness of diabetes as a global health issue and what needs to be done collectively and individually for better prevention, diagnosis, and management of the condition,” said Williams. “Relative to this year's World Diabetes Day theme 'Access to diabetes care: If not now, when', we do recognise among our customers the gap between the people who need access to insulin to control their diabetes, as well as essential technologies such as blood glucose metres and test strips, and those who actually have access.”
Residents from communities including Newland, Naggo Head, Cumberland, Bridgeport, Gregory Park, Caymanas Gardens, and Portmore Lane were among those who came out to support the initiative.
According to Williams, there is also need to empower people to play a more critical role in their diabetes management.
“We recognise the need for people to, at this time, play a larger role in their diabetes management, through regular at home testing, better weight management and increased efforts towards better nutrition. To accomplish this, access to the appropriate resources is critical,” said Williams.
She added: “We wanted persons to make decisions to control the condition, to bring awareness to diabetes as a condition that can be managed by not necessarily the doctor but by the patient. We wanted persons to be informed and educated, and to impress upon them, that they can play their part in controlling the condition.”
Among the services that were offered on site were free blood and glucose testing, demonstrations and educational sessions by diabetes educators and one-on-one consultations with nutritionist Sabrina Palamino. Blood glucose monitors were given away free of cost to the elderly.
Several corporate entities supported the initiative with giveaways of baskets, raffles, and sampling of products geared towards diabetics. They included Cari-Med Limited through its Glucerna product, Facey Commodity Company Limited, Massy Distribution and Herbal Life Nutrition.