Diabetes Education for All
TDMP is working with three Primary Schools – Wakefield, Bunkers Hill and Deeside – to develop wellness programs. Food access is limited to all schools in the project area. Approximately one-third of the children go to school without breakfast and/or lunch. TDMP has started a supplemental meal program at all three schools and the teachers and students have given very positive feedback. Monies are needed to continue the program as well as to extend it to more needy students.
TDMP is working to develop education programs aimed both at prevention and management of the disease. A TDMP intern canvassed the three communities addressing many of the churches in the area. Additionally, Dr. Lee has conducted diabetes meetings as well as blood sugar evaluations. The community responses have been very supportive. TDMP will use funding to increase the frequency and reach of these community outreach programs.
Initial studies indicate that the prevalence of diabetes in Wakefield, Bunkers Hill and Deeside mirrors the reported prevalence of diabetes in the island. Women appear to be more likely to be diabetic and have much higher blood sugar levels, though men are also afflicted with the disease. There have been recent improvement, including increased testing at home and better control of blood sugar levels. In March 2015, TDMP launched diabetes support groups in the Wakefield community. Diabetics were taught how to keep logs and strategies to improve health literacy in order to communicate more effectively with their health care providers.