Dr. Martin Silink, president elect of the International Diabetes Federation told The Royal Gazette yesterday that Bermuda could easily become a world showcase for diabetes treatment and prevention – if it did all the right things.
Dr. Silink says, as much as 20 percent of the population in Bermuda has diabetes, and if you consider that each of those people has at least one or two family members who are indirectly touched by diabetes then it is effecting up to 60 to 70 percent of the Bermudian population. When one puts it in those terms the enormity of the problem becomes apparent.
He said that all types of diabetes – type one and type two – are increasing at such a rate around the world, that the situation is “untenable”.
He said there are “three Es” needed when tackling the problem – empowerment, energising and education.
“In terms of the education, it is about the prevention of diabetes, but also to look at ways of raising the awareness of diabetes in society,” he said. “The solution would involve the whole society. It is the way we design our cities, the way we design our schools. The way we have reduced sports in school. The way we feed our kids. The way we allow advertising of useless foods, especially at times when children are watching the television. The solutions are societal.”
Dr. Silink is campaigning worldwide to have the United Nations adopt a resolution acknowledging the scope of the problem of diabetes.
On Friday, April 28 he will give a presentation about the United Nations Resolution on Diabetes at the Fairmont Hamilton Princess at 12 noon. An introduction will be given by Dr. Geoffrey Rothwell, Senior Sociology Lecturer at the Bermuda College. Tickets are $50.
For further information and luncheon reservations telephone the Bermuda Diabetes Association at 239-2027 or 236-3668. Email diabetescentrebermudahospitals.bm .