The Ministry of Health Wellness and the Environment is hosting a Cultural and Health Fair at Heritage Square today.

The Ministry of Health Wellness and the Environment is hosting a  Cultural and Health Fair at Heritage Square today, as part of activities to mark World Diabetes Day, which is being observed today.

A release from the Ministry says the day was designated in 1991 by the International Diabetes Federation and the World Health Organisation, in response to the alarming rise in cares of diabetes around the world.

The Ministry noted that diabetes is a major public health problem and is emerging as a pandemic.  It says the burden of diabetes is steadily increasing globally.

According to the Ministry in 2011, the International Diabetes Federation reported that 366 million persons were diagnosed with diabetes and projected that this number will increase to 522 million by 2030.

Today’s Health Fair is intended to build awareness among the population, especially children and young people, of the warning signs and risk factors for diabetes.

It is also intended to drive home the fact that, in many cases, diabetes can be prevented and controlled, through healthy eating and physical activity.

The Ministry says the burden of the disease is significant and does not come only when one is diagnosed, but rather when complications set in and disability affects the quality of life of those afflicted.

Today, the Ministry will host a Cultural and Health Fair at Heritage Square to build awareness among the population, especially children and young people, of the warning signs and risk factors for diabetes.

It is also intended to drive home the fact that, in many cases, diabetes can be prevented and controlled, through healthy eating and physical activity.

The activities being held this week to coincide with World Diabetes Day are being co-ordinated by the Community Nursing Service, under the theme: Diabetes Education and Prevention.

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