THE Breidbach Clinic, in partnership with its clinic committee, commemorated World Diabetes Day at their local hall in Breidbach last week Thursday.
According to the calendar of events, November 14 each year is globally earmarked to bring awareness and educate communities about diabetes.
The event, themed “Women and Diabetes – Our right to a healthy future”, was attended by a handful of people and unfolded with speeches and motivational messages of support by the invited guests. It ended with soup being served and clothing handed out by the King William’s Town Lions Club.
Among the guests present were Buffalo City Municipality ward 44 councillor Sixolisiwe Ntsasela, her ward committee member Tully Winnnaar, department of health promoter practitioner Sizwe Mgangxa, clinic committee members and Breidbach Clinic operational manager Sister Yoliswa Qamba as the guest speaker.
Acorn Valley Committee chairman Kelvin de Lange was the programme director and called on the audience to listen attentively to the speakers and to share it with family and friends at home.
Ntsasela commended the clinic committee and the facility for the initiative of staging such an important event.
“This event is very important and to be honest, if I am given the choice to choose between diabetes and HIV, I would prefer HIV,” said Ntsasela to highlight the dangers of diabetes.
Qamba highlighted the vision of government, namely “long and healthy lives for all people of South Africa”.
“Responding to that and having noted that diabetes is a leading cause of death, we as the clinic have decided along with the board to hold a session of this nature to inform, educate and equip the community about diabetes,” Qamba said.
“We want to encourage people to be screened for and to take treatment if positively diagnosed.”
She further explained the irreversible complications of diabetes which include blindness, kidney and heart failure, peripheral neuropathy and amputation.
She added: “Diabetes doesn’t just affect the individual, but also the families– think of a breadwinner becoming blind.”
Mgangxa echoed the seriousness of diabetes as explained by Qamba and encourage people to be screened before being told, “you are diabetic”.
“Diabetes is manageable and not treatable and the reason why people are dying is that they don’t take their treatment,” Mgangxa said.
“Our mission as a department is to encourage people to live life to the fullest and if you have one of the symptoms displayed here, then you have to go to the clinic as a matter of urgency.”
Clinic board chairman Desmond Coetzee thanked all stakeholders for contributing to the success of the event.