World Health Day 2016 focuses on diabetes

Diabetes was the focus of this year’s World Health Day workshop hosted by the Division of Public Health’s Non-Communicable Disease Bureau.

NCDB worked with faith-based leaders and gave presentations focused on key points such as nutrition, physical activity, and positive lifestyle changes at the Pacific Islands Club.

World Health Day, celebrated annually on April 7, is a day that the World Health Organization aims to bring awareness of a particular global health concern.

Among the speakers is Jessica Delos Reyes, a registered dietitian, who presented on making healthy food choices and eating well to prevent and manage diabetes.

Derek Cutting, owner and coach at Latte Built, shared insights on ways to increase physical activity on island, while Life in the Son Fellowship pastor Eric Abragan spoke about connecting biblical truths with health and wellness.

Diabetes is a chronic, progressive non-communicable disease characterized by elevated levels of blood glucose (blood sugar). Although complications from diabetes can lead to heart attack, stroke, blindness, kidney failure, and lower limb amputation, diabetes remains preventable and manageable.

Type 2 Diabetes is the most common type of diabetes, making up roughly 95 percent of all diagnoses.

DPH said it values the partnership with the faith-based community in the fight against diabetes and recognizes the strong impact of spiritual leaders in the CNMI as they offer a unique environment of nurturing and social support to those in their congregations. This collaboration offers an additional level of support regarding physical health.

Likewise, the various organization look forward to working with DPH in the fight against the disease.

“The forum prepared by DPH was very comprehensive. There’s truly a genuine need to address the issues on diabetes and NCDs. And we are looking forward to continue to partner and collaborate with DPH and others in the community to help address and fight diabetes,” Abragan said.

“I am so pleased with our partnership with Public Health and the pastors/ministers on the recently concluded workshop on the occasion of World Health Day. It was a very successful event and all our participants were very pleased with the outcome. The Diocese of Chalan Kanoa looks forward to further collaborative efforts on what we can do together for the good of our community,” said the diocese’s apostolic administrator Fr. Ryan Jimenez.

According to WHO, one out of 11 persons worldwide have diabetes.

It has also become a concern in the CNMI where obesity, a risk factor for diabetes, is at a rate 50 percent higher than that of the entire United States’ rate of 34.9 percent, according to available data from several small studies conducted in the CNMI and the U.S.

Official Medicare numbers indicate the rate of dialysis from diabetes in the CNMI is 300 percent higher than the U.S. level.

NCD Bureau’s goal is to increase awareness, decrease incidence, scale up prevention, and improve management of diabetes and other NCDs.

The bureau is able to provide the public with educational health resources and services. For further information on NCD’s, you can call 236-8728 or 323-QUIT (7848).

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Frauleine S. Villanueva-Dizon | Reporter
Frauleine Michelle S. Villanueva was a broadcast news producer in the Philippines before moving to the CNMI to pursue becoming a print journalist. She is interested in weather and environmental reporting but is an all-around writer. She graduated cum laude from the University of Santo Tomas with a degree in Journalism and was a sportswriter in the student publication.

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