BASSETERRE, ST. KITTS, November 16, 2020 (MMS-SKN) — Diabetes is one of the four major types of non-communicable diseases (NCDs), and the Federal Minister of Health the Hon Akilah Byron-Nisbett is making an appeal for everyone to support persons living with the disease.
Minister Byron-Nisbett made the remarks on World Diabetes Day, Saturday November 14, at the War Memorial in Fortlands, Basseterre, at the end of the St. Kitts Diabetes Association’s organised Grand Walk held under the theme ‘Walk to Cure Diabetes’.
The walk had taken the participants from the War Memorial to the Eastern Caribbean Central Bank via Bay Road and back to the War Memorial.
“I just want to thank everyone for supporting the St. Kitts Diabetes Association,” the Hon Byron-Nisbett told the walk participants who included among others the Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Health, Dr Delores Stapleton-Harris, and the Chairman of the National Bank Group of Companies, Mr Alexis Nisbett. “Diabetes you know is one of the leading non-communicable diseases in St. Kitts and Nevis, and leading causes of deaths from non-communicable diseases.”
She advised there was need, as a government, to do all that it can to ensure that persons understand the importance of taking care of themselves by testing for the disease, exercising regularly, eating right, and for persons living with diabetes to make sure they take their medication. The actions outlined by the Honourable Minister are being referred to by the acronym ‘TEEM’.
“We want everyone to continue to support persons living with diabetes,” said Minister Byron-Nisbett. “You have family members – make sure they do what they are supposed to do, and for you to avoid getting diabetes yourself, do what you are supposed to do, eat properly, exercise regularly, all these to ensure that we do not have the high numbers of persons living with diabetes or dying from diabetes each year.”
In conclusion she thanked all the walk participants for supporting the St. Kitts Diabetes Association. She added: “I think you (the Association) have your annual general meeting tomorrow (Sunday November 15), so we want to encourage the members to support and then we look forward to next year’s awareness – but remember the awareness goes all year round.”
World Diabetes Day was this year held under the theme ‘The Nurse and Diabetes’. Addressing participants at the end of the Grand Walk, President of the St. Kitts Diabetes Association Nurse Christine Wattley told all persons concerned and persons living with diabetes: “One thing I want us all to go with today – think about a nurse. Just think about a nurse and the difference the nurses make in the fight against diabetes.”
Grand Walk participants had defied an early morning shower and assembled at the War Memorial just before 6:00 am, where the St. Kitts Diabetes Association’s Public Relations Officer, Dr Reginald O’Loughlin, led them through some warm-up exercises before they set off at 6:25 am.
At the end of the walk Dr Lincoln Carty, who apart from those walkers who ran and jogged throughout the entire course was the first walker to return to the War Memorial, dismissed the participants with a word of prayer.
“We thank you (Lord) for the opportunity that you gave us to come together to walk not only for our own health, but to stimulate thinking about diabetes and to make people aware of the fact that trusting you and compliance with all the things they can do to alleviate that problem can happen,” said Dr Lincoln Carty. “We pray that you go with us as we go through this day and may we strive always to just live the way you want us to live so we can enjoy a little bit of heaven right down here.”
1: Minister of Health the Hon Akilah Byron-Nisbett (2nd left) at the start of the St. Kitts Diabetes Association’s Grand Walk at the War Memorial. To her right is her husband, Mr Alexis Nisbett.
2: Minister of Health, the Hon Akilah Byron-Nisbett (right) and President of St. Kitts Diabetes Association, Nurse Christine Wattley, address Grand Walk participants at the War Memorial after the walk.
3: Grand Walk participants are led through warm-up exercises by St. Kitts Diabetes Association’s Public Relations Officer, Dr. Reginald O’Loughlin, before they set off from the War Memorial.