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Belize introduces diabetes self-help program

BELIZE CITY, Wed. Dec. 5, 2018– Belize has stepped up efforts to reduce the devastation of Type 2 diabetes among young people, working-class persons, and persons recently diagnosed with the disease, through a diabetes self-care program that is to be implemented shortly. An initial 1,500 persons suffering with the disease will be trained in diabetes self-care, through a community-based support program. The program is being conducted through the Ministry of Health in collaboration with the Belize Diabetes Association and the Pan American Health Organization.

Cornelio Marfield, ND, the coordinator of the self-help diabetes program, told us that the World Diabetes Federation provided funding for the program to be provided to 1,500 persons, for 3 years, and they are seeking funding to expand the program. A specialist will be brought in and a team will select the participants for the program.

Marfield said that this self-help program will not be for persons with Type 1 diabetes or for persons at the final stage of the disease, or for those on dialysis. He said there is an existing program at the Ministry of Health to help persons who are living with diabetes, and that there is a record system in the Ministry which they use to track persons who are living with, or have recently been diagnosed with the disease, and this system makes it easier to help those in need.

Marfield said their aim is to stop the progression of diabetes. He said that dialysis is very expensive and he would like to see more spent on diabetes prevention. He said that the condition can be reversed in some persons if they change their lifestyles and eating habits.

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