Tuesday, September 18 2012
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Aleyda Arauz, group product manager for diabetes, Central America and the Caribbean, distributes press kits to journalists attending the Sanofi media ...
Diabetes is now the second leading cause of death and the leading cause of blindness among adults in TT, and health projections estimate that by 2025 TT will outstrip all other countries in the Western Hemisphere in the rate of prevalence of this disease.
According to facts presented by Dr Claude Khan, diabetologist, at the Sanofi Media Workshop, “Together Against Diabetes”, held September 4 at the Hyatt, available records show that in one year alone, 1,000 new cases of diabetes were diagnosed in TT. Up to 11 percent of the TT population is diabetic, making it the Caribbean island most severely afflicted by the illness.
Additionally, in one year for which figures are available, diabetics in TT underwent 450 lower limb amputations. Research has shown that of those amputee cases, 50 percent become depressed and an estimated 20 percent die within two years of the procedure.
Because diabetes is a leading cause of renal disorders, as well, 365 people in TT routinely undergo dialysis treatment as an alternative to a kidney transplant.
Cardiovascular disorders are also more prevalent among diabetics, and people living with diabetes are twice as likely to suffer a stroke than are those with high blood pressure only.
In its efforts to care for those living with the disease, TT spent more than $200,000,000 in 2007 alone, according to the International Diabetes Federation (IDF). This figure represents direct costs and does not take into account indirect costs due to loss of earnings because of illness, premature death, disability payments, time lost from work, and so on.
In addition to the Type 2 diabetes prevalent among adults, more than 450 children in TT live with the Type 1 diabetes more common among children and adolescents.
According to the IDF and the World Health Organisation (WHO), there has been a significant increase in the prevalence of diabetes in adults in both developed and developing countries, with an estimated 194 to 246 million people currently living with the disease.
WHO considers diabetes to be an epidemic that will place an increasingly heavy burden on all societies worldwide.
Diabetes mellitus, commonly referred to as diabetes, is a chronic condition that appears when the pancreas does not produce enough insulin or when the body cannot use the insulin it produces. Insulin is a hormone produced by the pancreas which allows the cells to use glucose from the blood as a source of energy. A fault in the production of insulin, in the action of insulin, or both, will generate an increase in blood glucose levels. In the long term, this produces lesions in the body, leading to the failure of various organs and tissues.
In an effort to disseminate information on the disease, Sanofi, a global leader in healthcare, arranged the “Together Against Diabetes” media workshop as part of its corporate social responsibility initiative. The workshop provided media personnel with education and medical updates that would help them to better understand the disease and its implications.
This would assist the media to more effectively communicate with the population so that those afflicted with the disease can have a better quality of life whilst encouraging those who do not have diabetes to take the necessary precautions to avoid it.