Every year, November 14th is celebrated as “World Diabetes Day” globally. The World Diabetes Day campaign is led by the International Diabetes Federation (IDF) and its member associations. The Belize Diabetes Association is a chapter of the IDF. They have been hosting numerous events to sensitize the Belizean public about diabetes. Plus News spoke with Mr. Cornelio Marfield President and Chair of the Belize Diabetes Association – Belmopan Branch about a Diabetes Ride and Walk which took place over the weekend.
Mr. Cornelio Marfield- President and Chair of the Belize Diabetes Association
“Along with and in collaboration with the Diabetes Association, Mr. Anthony Castillo and the Belmopan Branch met and discussed several things needed to be done to motivate others to get active in the country. So, both the walks and the ridings that they did from Corozal to Belize was to… apart from a fundraiser, as to elaborate the fact that we need to get active as a nation. Whether is riding, whether is walking for Belmopan, we have decided that we will initiate a 6 a.m. morning walk from our National Assembly building, every Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays, consequently of this walk and we will walk around the Ring Road at least once on these days which is about 40 minutes of exercise that is the amount that the doctor recommends anyway to lose weight and keeping in good shape”.
Diabetes is a chronic condition that arises when the pancreas does not produce enough insulin, or when the body cannot effectively use the insulin produced. According to a recent census, diabetes has increased by 13.1% in Belize mostly due to a sedentary lifestyle which leads to obesity. Mr. Marfield says that it’s time for Belizeans to start living a healthier way of life and they hope to achieve that awareness through the various activities.
Mr. Cornelio Marfield: “We have a series of activities coming up today tomorrow and Wednesday, we have our PR who is Ms. Anderson. She will be going to our primary school to educatye the children because if we will change this problem, we got to start from our young children. It probably will take a whole generation or so to get the statistics down. Also, we are working in close collaboration with the University of Belize via the Faculty of Nursing and we have a lighting monument ceremony on this Wednesday evening as the sun is going down at the University of Belize campus and then, to culminate the activities, Thursday we have a whole day conference taking place at the UB Auditorium and we have some free diabetic check-ups for those who are diabetic. From early in the morning, it’s a fasting test we are requiring. You come in from 7:30 in the morning and you get your glucose test and you come back as the technician do their lab there and then throughout the day we’ll be having weigh-ins, cholesterol tests, tri-viceral tests and a number of other tests as they will be done by of the administration and students there at the University of Belize”.
Simultaneously with Thursday’s event-the Association will be providing free eye-checkups, particularly for senior citizens and diabetics at the Red Cross in Belmopan. World Diabetes Day is celebrated on November 14, to mark the birthday of Frederick Banting who, along with Charles Best, first conceived the idea which led to the discovery of insulin in the year 1922.