GIS – 17 November 2016: An appeal to adopt healthy habits as an effective preventive measure against diabetes was made by the Minister of Health and Quality of Life, Mr Anil Gayan, yesterday at Indira Gandhi Centre for Indian Culture in Phoenix at the launch of activities marking World Diabetes Day 2016, which is observed worldwide on 14 November.
In his message, the Minister outlined that adherence to a healthy lifestyle that incorporates balance diet, regular exercise, no smoking and reduction of alcohol consumption as well as ensuring that one knows one’s diabetes status were crucial to combat diabetes.
While reiterating the necessity for people to take responsibility for their own health, Mr Gayan urged the population to follow doctors’ advice and avail of the different facilities provided by the Ministry to enable them to bring healthy habits into their life. He recalled that diabetes has dire consequences on the quality of life of the person, leading to complications that affect, not only kidneys and feet, but also several areas of the body namely the eyes and the nervous system, which is involved in many bodily functions like digestion.
The Minister also expressed concern regarding the high rate of alcohol consumption in the country which is estimated at 53 million litres per year. “The high alcohol consumption, which is a potential risk factor for diabetes, is worrisome as the average monthly consumption of beer stands at 2.5 million litres while spirit consumption which was 629,000 litres in January 2016 jumped to 879,000 litres in October 2016,” he said.
He deplored the economic burden of diabetes on the national healthcare system, and pointed out that the financial resources involved in the treatment of diabetes and the resulting complications such as kidney failure, heart attack and stroke could have been judicious invested in the treatment of diseases such as cancers. He added that while the Ministry is promoting prevention, and early diagnosis to ensure effective treatment of diabetes and delay complications which lead to costly treatment, the population must take their responsibility by shedding sedentary lifestyle and unhealthy diets and habits.
The event at Phoenix yesterday included the presentation of a ‘First Day Cover’ on diabetes, with the collaboration of the Mauritius Post Ltd, and an exhibition on non-communicable diseases (NCDs) and other health related issues, such as retinal and foot care.
World Diabetes Day 2016
The theme of this year’s World Diabetes Day is Eyes on Diabetes, focusing on the importance of screening to ensure early diagnosis of type 2 diabetes, and treatment to reduce the risk of serious complications.
The activities organised by the Ministry of Health and Quality of Life comprise retinal and NCD screening across the country; an open day with Type 1 Diabetic patients aged between 17 to 30 years at Victoria Hospital; and Continuous Nursing Education on the theme ‘Healthy Living and Diabetes Care’, including demonstration on insulin injection techniques, and proper use of glucose meters at Dr A.G. Jeetoo Hospital.
According to the Non-Communicable Diseases Survey Report 2015, there are an estimated 257,442 people between the ages of 25 and 74 years with diabetes in Mauritius. The report also indicates that the prevalence of diabetes in Mauritius has stabilised at 22.8% in 2015, as compared to 23.6% in 2009, while the prevalence of pre-diabetes for the same period has declined from 24.4% to 19.4%.
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