NIA CHARLESTOWN NEVIS (November 23, 2021)- – Nevis’ Health Promotion Unit (HPU) successfully hosted a World Diabetes Day Health Screening on November 18 and 19, 2021, with 184 persons turning up to check their blood sugar, blood pressure and kidney health.
The screening, a joint initiative of the Ministry of Health and Gender Affairs in the Nevis Island Administration and the Taiwan International Cooperation and Development Fund (ICDF), was held at the Cotton Ginnery Mall in Charlestown. On Thursday 73 individuals presented themselves for the free diabetes, hypertension and kidney disease screening while 111 turned up on Friday.
According to Mr. William Chen, Project Coordinator for the ICDF to St. Kitts and Nevis, just over 40 percent of those tested, their body mass index (BMI) indicated they are obese. BMI is a measure of body fat based on an individual’s weight in relation to his or her height and age.
“The BMI showed obese for about 41 percent of the total and for diabetes it was about 11.9 percent, and about 20 percent had high blood pressure. With 41 percent having a BMI above 30, which is obesity, we all know that when we have [excess body weight] it can lead to diabetes, hypertension and heart diseases,” he said.
Some of the persons also screened for proteinuria by providing a urine sample. Proteinuria is increased levels of protein in the urine, a condition which can be a sign of kidney damage.
Mr. Chen said fortunately none of the individuals who screened showed signs of kidney disease.
He did however recommended persons practice healthy lifestyles that include physical activity and controlling their food portions, in order to prevent developing these non-communicable diseases.
Ms. Shevanee Nisbett, Senior Health Educator at the HPU, said the event was one of their activities to mark World Diabetes Day on November 14, designed to raise awareness about the importance of diabetes prevention, control, care and treatment.