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Nov 12, 2021

Diabetes Week Activities Stresses Lifestyle Changes

Each year since 2006, Diabetes Awareness Week is celebrated on November fourteenth, the birthday of Sir Frederick Banting, who discovered insulin and its uses. This past week the Belize Family Life Association at Corner Central American Boulevard and Mahogany Street has been carrying out diabetes awareness activities. At the core of the effort is improving the access to the services that diabetics need. As News Five’s Marion Ali found out today, the BFLA already has in place key services, including testing, counseling and nutritional advice; and while many diabetics have been managing the disease well, there are more people developing the disease.


Marion Ali, Reporting

The COVID phenomenon that has so ravaged our world that lately, other prevailing diseases have not remained at the fore of discussions on health. But this week, behind the scenes, the Belize Family Life Association has kept up the pace in zeroing in on diabetes. Clinical Director at the BFLA, Dr. Natalie Bruce says there are so many aspects to successfully managing the disease.


Dr. Natalie Bruce

Dr. Natalie Bruce, Clinical Dir., BFLA

“Managing is not just about medication. We have to take into account our nutrition, our diet, the exercise, as well as the daily monitoring and taking your medication; and not just taking your medication when you’re feeling ill, but making sure that you comply with your mediation, getting your bi-annual check-ups and making sure that early detection of complications so that they can be treated.”


Dr. Bruce says that because diabetes is a degenerative disease, it attacks many organs and functions of the body. And because diabetics are in the category of vulnerable people if they catch COVID, they have been apprehensive to attend clinic. That has led to an increase patients turning up with complications.


Dr. Natalie Bruce

“Complication would arise, whether it has to do with diabetic neuropathy, patients going blind due to the fact of the retina being affected, we’ve seen increase in patients with foot ulcers.”


These debilitating complications prompted the BFLA to begin an aggressive outreach program on social media platforms to give patient advice and take concerns. One patient who has been effectively managing her diabetes for over twenty years is Brenda Godoy.


Brenda Godoy

Brenda Godoy, Diabetic patient

“First when I was diagnosed I had to get educated on it because I thought it was a death sentence, which it isn’t. A healthy lifestyle is what works for me, a diet and I exercise. I reside at eight miles on the Western Highway, so I walk from my home on the new highway, which is the John Smith Highway – to the roundabout and back every day. I still eat certain things that I shouldn’t but I eat it in moderation.”


What one puts into the mouth is a part of managing the disease, but BFLA’s Nutritionist, Karen Rosito, says it requires lifestyle changes as well in order to avoid premature sickness or worse.


Karen Rosito

Karen Rosito, Nutritionist, BFLA

“Death is expensive, illness is expensive; a pound of beans is one dollar and fifty cents. You could feed ten people with that. I don’t advise them to run so much as sit as do it, do it (exercise), do the twist, even if you have swollen knees. You know diabetes rough, right and it kills people more than any other thing – disease, gunshot, traffic accidents, but if we could control it before it’s too late, we’re good.”


Marion Ali for News Five.

Viewers please note: This Internet newscast is a verbatim transcript of our evening television newscast. Where speakers use Kriol, we attempt to faithfully reproduce the quotes using a standard spelling system.

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