August 31, 2012
Mustique Charitable Trust provides screening for Vincentians

The Mustique Charitable Trust (MCT) has teamed up with C.K. Greaves Supermarket to help raise awareness about the prevalence of two non-communicable diseases, and increase knowledge about their prevention and treatment.{{more}}

A monthly hypertension and diabetes screening service was introduced on Wednesday, August 29, where members of the public can get tested for the diseases.

The first session took place at C.K. Greaves Supermarket in Kingstown, while the second took place yesterday at Sunrise Supermarket in Arnos Vale.

The team is being led by Dr Michael Bunbury, who has been the resident doctor in Mustique for almost 20 years, and runs a similar clinic there on a weekly basis.

“There’s a large amount of diabetes and hypertension in SVG, which can probably be controlled by lifestyle changes,” said Bunbury.

“It’s a major killer… Diabetes kills more people than any other cause —from cancer to road traffic accidents.”

Dr Bunbury further stated that there is a problem with awareness of the diseases throughout the Caribbean and America.

“Diabetes is a very silent disease — people don’t know they have it!” he explained.

Lavinia Gunn, administrator of the MCT, echoed this sentiment.

“There are quite a few people walking around with it and [they] don’t know,” she said.

Gunn explained that the introduction of monthly screening sessions is part of the organisation’s mandate to “improve the opportunities for children, young people and vulnerable adults, while supporting the development of sustainable local communities throughout St Vincent and the Grenadines”.

Dr Bunbury explained that the venture is designed to raise awareness, and help members of the public detect the diseases early.

“It’s important to discover it early, and encourage people to do things that are difficult, such as losing weight and exercising,” he added.

Advanced stages of both diabetes and hypertension can lead to kidney damage, heart disease, increased incidence of stroke, and — worst-case scenario — death.

Dr Bunbury also said that it is important for those suffering from the diseases to establish a “regular rapport” with their doctors, health providers and family members.

“It creates better control,” he insisted.

Gunn expressed her gratitude to the owners of C.K Greaves Supermarkets, and said that she hoped for continued cooperation in the future on this project.

“We appreciate their support,” she said.

The next screening session will be held at the supermarket’s branch in Pembroke on September 28, 2012.(JV)