MANY DIABETICS NOT AWARE OF HOW BEST TO MANAGE NUTRITION
A local physician believes that many Barbadians living with diabetes are not sufficiently aware of how to manage their condition from a nutritional point of view.
Dr. Diane Brathwaite, Clinical Coordinator of the Barbados Diabetes Foundation, made these comments recently after three charities, including the foundation, received funds from CIBC FirstCaribbean International Bank for developmental initiatives. The presentations took place at the Bank’s Barbados headquarters at Rendezvous.
“Many persons with diabetes do not know how to manage their condition from the point of view of nutrition. The nutritionist is, therefore, a central part to diabetes management,” Dr. Brathwaite said.
Reiterating that the best diabetes prevention was weight reduction, for those who were overweight, and living a healthy lifestyle, the Clinical Coordinator said “this is no new science.” But she added that persons found it difficult to prevent the onset of diabetes because of a change in “lifestyle culture” adding that society needed to look at how children were socialised in order to prevent diabetes on a national scale.
“The reality is that we have to set the example for younger persons in society. We are not even remotely as physical as our ancestors yet we eat more processed, energy dense and fatty foods than they did. In essence, we are poisoning ourselves with our lifestyles. But knowing how to do something and making the choice to do it are two different things,” Dr. Brathwaite emphasized.
While thanking the bank for its contribution, Dr. Brathwaite said the funds received would assist the charity in its professional education efforts for doctors, nurses and others and in developing psychological and nutrition-based programmes. “Many of our programmes are aimed at benefiting the wider community and hence financing is necessary to allow them to occur. In the long term it will always be the people of Barbados who stand to benefit.”
The Barbados Red Cross also received support for its programmes. Edmond Bradshaw, Director General expressed thanks to the bank for its “significant donation” adding that CIBC FirstCaribbean had been a long standing supporter. “The Barbados Red Cross praises the bank for the goodwill it has shown to the recipients of the Red Cross’ assistance,” said Mr. Bradshaw.
The Director General explained that the bank’s support would “assist the numerous programmes we have with children in Red Cross Youth Links in secondary schools. There is a badge programme in which the children are trained in first aid, CPR, environmental protection, HIV/AIDS prevention, water safety and swimming, drill, fund raising, community service and prevention of non-communicable diseases.”
He added that such programmes helped young people to become responsible citizens and have healthier lives.
Prison Fellowship Barbados also benefited from the bank’s generosity recently. Executive Director, Thomas Watts said CIBC FirstCaribbean’s contribution would go towards a programme for the children of inmates. “It will impact some 20 families and we’re happy for it,” Mr. Watts said.
Prison Fellowship Barbados is known for its Angel Tree programme which provides support for families of prison inmates at Christmas but its work continues throughout the year through, for example, assistance with back-to-school items for students. As a result of its ongoing work, contributions are needed throughout the year.
Donna Wellington, CIBC FirstCaribbean Managing Director for Barbados and OECS operations said the bank’s ongoing support for charities was crucial. “Issues related to positive developments in our health and our youth are central to the development of our communities and country,” she said.