Republic Bank Marks World Diabetes Day With Community Testing In City

Act now!

That was the World Diabetes Day message that scores of Barbadians received as they visited Republic Bank’s community outreach event in Golden Square Freedom Park in The City to mark the day.

The Diabetes & Hypertension Association of Barbados (DHAB), the Barbados Diabetes Foundation, The Heart & Stroke Foundation, and Pharma Wellness in the Community are all partners in the Bank’s corporate social responsibility programme, Power to Make A Difference (PMAD) and their representatives provided free blood sugar, blood pressure and cholesterol testing to the public. A steady flow of people visited the DHAB’s Mobile unit and attendees also took advantage of the many educational resources and samples of various health products that were available.

In her short presentation, Senior Registrar at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital and qualified Nephrologist, Dr. Danielle Dottin, urged diabetics to start asking their doctors for specific testing related to the function of their kidneys - an organ often affected by diabetes.

She explained, “The important thing to know is that diabetes does affect the kidneys and causes kidney damage and you have to know that going into it. So it’s good to have your blood sugar and cholesterol checked but you also have to make sure to ask your doctor to test your urine for protein as well as to have a blood test done specifically for your kidneys. That’s because a lot of the time we go to the doctor and they are doing blood tests but they are not necessarily doing blood tests specifically for your kidneys.

She added, “We have had experiences at the hospital where people have had diabetes, and hypertension as well, for years and never actually been tested for any of these things - so not the urine nor the blood test specifically for the kidneys and then, it is at that point we realise the kidneys have been damaged to the extent that they need to start dialysis.

“So you really need to check beforehand so that we can intervene before you get to the point of needing dialysis.”

Republic Bank Ambassador, Krystal Boyea, who received her type 1 diabetes diagnosis at the age of 11, also gave a short presentation. In a live interview with fellow ambassador Patrick “Salt'' Bellamy, she told attendees what it was like living with the condition. She too urged Barbadians to be more proactive.

I think a simple message for anyone to take home is - act now! When you’re diagnosed with it, act now. If you know a friend or family member, act now. Don’t wait. Act now. It just is amazing to me that we have over 500 million people living with diabetes in the world and one in five adults is assumed to have diabetes in Barbados, so if not now, then when?”

Several senior members of Republic Bank’s management came out in support of the event, getting tested themselves and chatting with the professionals and advocates present.

Marketing & Corporate Communications Manager, Mischa Knight, explained, “We at Republic Bank are keen to continue playing our part in the fight against the spread of diabetes through education, testing drives and fundraising initiatives. Today’s activities are a continuation of that work to spread the message of prevention, diabetic care, and hope.”

Along with PMAD partners, the event was held in association with several of the Bank’s corporate partners - Pharmacy Sales; Brydens Stokes Limited; ICBL; WIBISCO; and BARP.

December 6, 2022
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