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Eye on diabetes

Today was World Diabetes Day and scores of Barbadians were screened for the illness at a Mobile Testing Unit (MTU) stationed in Warrens.

People waiting at the Mobile Testing Unit to have their blood sugar tested.

People waiting at the Mobile Testing Unit to have their blood sugar tested.

For the third consecutive year, Republic Bank in partnership with the Diabetes Association of Barbados made the testing unit available to acknowledge the day observed around the world.

From 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., people passed through the Warrens branch of Republic Bank, now located at the Warrens Office Complex, to get tested.

General Manager of Retail Banking Sharon Zephirin said the bank was enthusiastic about the work of the MTU and planned to extend its reach to meet the needs of those most affected by the disease.

General Manager of Retail Banking for Republic Bank, Sharon Zephirin having her blood pressure tested by a volunteer at the Mobile Testing Unit.

General Manager of Retail Banking for Republic Bank, Sharon Zephirin having her blood pressure tested by a volunteer at the Mobile Testing Unit.

General Manager of Retail Banking for Republic Bank, Sharon Zephirin having her blood sugar tested.

General Manager of Retail Banking for Republic Bank, Sharon Zephirin having her blood sugar tested.

“As we know, diabetes is a critical illness in Barbados. It is not characterized by race or gender; it affects everyone. It affects people sometimes in their most productive years and then, obviously, indirectly it affects the productivity of any organization in Barbados, of course,” said Zephrin, who stressed it was important for Barbadians to know their diabetes status.

Since the inception of the MTU in 2013, more than 4 600 persons have been screened for high blood sugar at 187 events.

The Diabetes Association of Barbados, in a recent report, credited Republic Bank for its support in helping to increase the number of Barbadians being screened.

The report noted that while the monthly events attended by the mobile unit decreased slightly for 2015-2016 in comparison with the previous reporting period, it was still well above the overall annual average of 4.7 events per month.

“More importantly, we are on track to screen more persons in 2016 in comparison to the previous year. Almost 1 300 persons were screened during the entire calendar year of 2015, while we have almost matched that amount over just nine months; and the number of persons screened for diabetes has increased by 13 per cent over the previous reporting period.

“This is testimony to the great work of our volunteers and outreach of the Diabetes Association of Barbados that would not be possible without the support provided,” the report said.

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