_GOOD LIVING still very possible for Diabetics  
 
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"Doctor" Sparrow Sings and Dances for Diabetes "GOOD LIVING"
still very possible for Diabetics

The calypso king of the world, the Mighty Sparrow (Dr. Slinger Francisco), has added his voice to promoting living a healthy life with diabetes. He was the guest of the St. Lucia Diabetic and Hypertensive Association and the Universal Health Care Diabetes Pilot Project and was in St. Lucia on June 29th, 2006, to meet the St. Lucian public and share his personal experience of being a diabetic for over 20 years.

His over-riding message was that having diabetes is not a death sentence provided there is early diagnosis/detection and that the disease is managed. "Control, control, control", Sparrow repeated over and over.

(L-R) Mr John Anderson – Sales Manager, International Division, Pharmaco, Hon. Damian Greaves,
Minister for Health, Human Services, Family Affairs and Gender Relations
, The Mighty Sparrow (Dr. Slinger Francisco),
Mr George Eugene – President, St Lucia Diabetic and Hypertensive Association & Mr Jerry George - Chairperson,
Communications and Marketing Committee, UHC.

Sparrow related that he was diagnosed when he was in his 40s after feeling consistently sluggish during his daily life and while performing. His doctor at the time prescribed vitamins. There was no improvement and it was only after a series of blood tests that his doctor decided he should be treated with insulin. Since then, Sparrow, now in his 70s, has been crusading for persons to be tested and that includes young persons who may believe that they are too young to have diabetes, a common misconception. "They don't know that their parents or grandparents have diabetes because there are still a lot of people who feel shame about having diabetes", Sparrow told his captive audience.

To prove the point that he having diabetes didn't affect his life, he gave impromptu performances singing several of his classics tunes and adding spice to his songs with the suggestive moves that has been the hallmark of his stage presentations. The audience sang along and applauded at his dexterity. "I have a rigourous touring schedule and I get my exercise by dancing. I can do that because I know that I have to get my shots and control what I eat." Sparrow has to inject himself with insulin three times a day and check his blood sugar level every morning and before his performances. His daily routine includes getting plenty of physical exercise, maintaining a healthy weight and eating correct portion sizes. He doesn't drink alcohol.

 

(L-R) Mrs Claudine Mathurin – St Lucia Diabetic and Hypertensive Association,
The Mighty Sparrow (Dr. Slinger Francisco)
, Mr George EugenePresident, St Lucia
Diabetic and Hypertensive Association
& Hon. Damian Greaves, Minister for Health, Human Services,
Family Affairs and Gender Relations
,
.

The UHC Diabetes Pilot Project is now underway having been launched on May 29, 2006. The Pilot Project provide diabetics and diabetics with hypertension with free screening and medicine. Screenings are taking place at all health centre and public hospitals and includes outreach at community venues as well as at the St. Lucia Diabetic and Hypertensive Association headquarters on St. Louis Street; also at the Castries town Hall, Monday-Friday: 10am-2pm; at the Castries Market, every Friday: 10am-2pm and daily at the St. Lucia Diabetic and Hypertensive Association, corner of Chisel and High Streets in Castries. For more information call: 452-7693 or the UHC Secretariat: 452-6756.

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