Brooklyn-based medical team helps Vincentians

The Brooklyn-based Caribbean Diabetes Initiative, Inc. (CDI) has described as “very successful, fulfilling” its recent medical mission to St. Vincent and the Grenadines.

CDI President Kisha L. Carrington, told Caribbean Life, in an exclusive interview that the Diabetes / Hypertension Care Program in SVG was conducted in partnership with the Diabetes and Hypertension Association on the island.

She said 17 CDI volunteers — 14 adults and three children — participated in the mission, and that they were “well received.”

Carrington said 338 patients altogether were screened in Chateaubelair, Stubbs and Biabou, and that patients were also treated and educated. She said 191 of those screened received treatment.

The importance of proper food choices, portion control, taking medications, examining the feet, eye exams and keeping regular follow-up medical appointments were also taught, Carrington said.

Unfortunately, she said the team’s findings were “not far off,” stating that, “in fact, most of the people we encountered, who were diabetics, seemed clueless about the little things they could do to protect their feet; so, education is a must.”

Carrington said an educational conference on June 4, at the Knowledge Institute, was “an intense, information-filled day” for nurses, doctors and other health care-related personnel.

She said participants were “engaged and had an opportunity to learn handy tools when teaching their patients.”

“By the end of our trip, it was clear that more is needed,” she added. “We had already served the people at the various clinics, made donations of materials to other sites, through local team members, taught health care personnel important statistics about diabetes, donated supplies to the local hospital, and still something was missing.

“As successful as our mission was in giving to the people of St. Vincent [and the Grenadines], sustainability within the country remains a concern,” she lamented. “Research is the premise upon which treatment is derived, and we understand that acquiring statistics within the country is vital. We hope to continue partnering with the Ministry [of Health] to develop their focus on wellness, research and statistics.”

Carrington, who was elected CDI president in August last year, said CDI is a community-based, not-for-profit organisation, whose aim is to improve “awareness and management of diabetes and its related diseases to people of the Caribbean and beyond.”

Adopted From Caribbean Life Newspaper By Nelson King