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Jul 30, 2013

A camp to keep you healthy if living with Diabetes

Diabetes is one of the deadliest diseases. The prevalence rate among Belizeans is roughly at thirteen percent, which means that at least forty thousand persons are living with the condition.  In the backdrop of such grim statistics, News Five’s Duane Moody joined some youths this morning at a camp for persons with Type One Diabetes, who are insulin dependent. They were learning how to make the right choices to keep sugar levels under control.

 

 

Duane Moody, Reporting

Some twenty plus youths are at the ITVET Compound for the 2013 Diabetes Youth Camp.  All are type one diabetics as they were born with high blood sugar levels. Since Monday, they have been attending the third annual camp to become more educated about the condition and how to maintain their health or at least to alert someone if something is wrong when they needed assistance.

 

Joy Spann

“We try to teach them discipline so that they can understand the different methods to use when for when they are by themselves because when they are in school or with a friend they don’t have mommy or daddy to call on so they need to know exactly when their sugar is too high, when it is too low. What to do when it is high and how to tend to themselves when it is too low. So that is where we step in to help them to educate them about the different things that they can do, different steps and methods to use. We try to give them a balanced day so that they can get the education that they need for themselves, they can get fun and activities and as well physical activities to incorporate exercise.”

 

One of the presenters today was Nutritionist for the Ministry of Health, Robyn Daly. Daly says that living with the illness is all about dieting, exercise and making sure that sugar levels are maintained.

 

Robyn Daly

Robyn Daly, Nutritionist, Ministry of Health

“We are looking at how can I eat healthy? So I made sure I emphasized that to them, I also highlighted the basics, we need to go back to look at food groups, we need to learn how to use the food groups to eat, we need to look at portion control. What is a portion? How much should they have? What is too much? Can they still have a little bit of dessert? There are things for example: managing your condition, you want to be able to manage your condition so you can have a little treat. But if you have poor management then no you can’t have a treat because your sugar is already high. So teaching them and getting a little feedback from them playing a little game with them in terms of what you should have on your plate. These are some things that we did this morning and I think it was well received. I got questions we highlighted of course our Belizean food guideline because that focuses on having a balanced diet. And showing them that you can have color, you can have variety and you still can eat as a normal person with diabetes you can still have a normal life. It doesn’t stop there for food but it’s all about having portions, having control over what you eat and having better choices.”

 

All of the young participants at the camp are insulin dependent.  The camp has taught them confidence. Kendra and Ragee have been attending the camp since its inception.

 

Karen Rhaburn, Participant

Karen Rhaburn

“For me people treat yo different, people look pan yo like diabetes dah something weh yo could ketch. Coming to the camp for Mr. Anthony Castillo we learn that you cannot catch diabetes, you are living with diabetes. It takes me far in life because I used to be afraid of telling people that I am a diabetic but coming here and the support I get from the diabetes association and the rest of my family, it makes me proud of myself to be a diabetic.”

 

Ragee Gillett

Ragee Gillett, Participant

“Before it was very high managing my sugar level, it always use to be high but when I came to the camp I and take control.”

 

The camp ends this Friday. Duane Moody for News Five.

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