Nov. 7, 2002 Diabetes is a serious public health problem in the Virgin Islands, and the V.I. Diabetes Control Program is launching an awareness campaign to coincide with National Diabetes Month.
Anne Thurland, director of the Health Department's Bureau of Health Education, said the "Take Steps. Live Well." campaign's major objective is "to increase awareness and knowledge of persons who may be at risk of developing diabetes."
About one in 10 Virgin Islanders have diabetes. Throughout the territory diabetes affects more blacks and Hispanics and is more common in older adults and persons with lower income and education levels.
"Another important objective of the campaign is as an outreach program to those who have diabetes, highlighting the possible complications of diabetes and promoting self-management," Thurland said.
Complications associated with diabetes include stroke, blindness, cardiovascular and kidney disease, and amputation of lower extremities.
At the Diabetes Awareness Fair at the Sunny Isle Shopping Center on Nov. 16, the diabetes program will provide blood glucose and blood pressure screenings, educational materials, flu shots, counseling and a professional nutritionist.
Similar services will be available at the St. Thomas St. John Agricultural and Food Fair on Nov. 23.
For more information on the V.I. Diabetes Control Program, call Thurland at 773-1311 ext. 3145.
More information on diabetes can be obtained at www.cdc.gov/diabetes.
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