Nevis Health Minister – Hensley Daniel
May 30, 2012
Minister of Health on Nevis Hon. Hensley Daniel, urged members of the Combermere Diabetic Association to pay close attention to their diets and exercise if they wanted to control the disease.
The Minister was at the time addressing at least 20 group members at the Combermere Health Centre on May 29, 2012 with Nurse in Charge Janice Williams and her assistant.
“Healthy eating and exercise can help you control diabetes. The World Health Organisation says that only 50 percent of patients take their medicine correctly. The A1C Test measures your blood sugar over the past two to three months. It tells you how well you are controlling your blood sugar levels over time. Do this test 2 to four times a year.
“Replace old habits with new and healthy ones. Reduce the portions. We eat too much in Nevis. The Poverty Survey showed that in order to maintain a 2000 calorie diet each person needed $400.00 a month in 2001. It is now about $600.00 a month,” he said.
He told those in attendance that they should not be tempted by the many fruits in season and they should reduce how much they consumed.
“Reduce the intake of mangoes, bananas, soft drinks, cake, white bread and balance carbohydrates. Increase the consumption of water. If your blood sugar has too much sugar it means that here is need to dilute the sugar.
“Get active, walk daily or engage in sports and other physical activity like backyard gardening. Being active lowered blood sugar and helps your body use insulin and you lose weight,” he said.
The Health Minister said it was important for the diabetic patients to reduce their weight and eat at the same time every day, limit their use of alcohol, quit smoking and reduce stress.
“Avoid stressful environments. Do not walk away from negative people run away,” he said.
Mr. Daniel also spoke of the complications associated with diabetes, among them heart disease, blurred vision, kidney failure, amputations, stroke and the risk of gum disease all of which he said were costly ailments to treat financially, emotionally and otherwise.
He said the situation on Nevis with the number of persons afflicted by diabetes was high and the time had come for persons to take stock.
“The situation is urgent. Let us begin to act now. We need people to be healthy and productive. We need people to help us drive the engines for social and economic development,” he said.
Meantime, Mr. Daniel made a small but significant donation to the Health Centre when he presented a health guide entitled “Speaking of Diabetes and Diet” by Dr. Deepa Mehta and Dr. S.A Vali. He also announced that he had already ordered brochures about diabetes which would be available for members of the Association.