From: Yemane Natnael (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Date: Tue Nov 18 2008 - 15:59:52 EST
National Diabetes Day Commemorated in Southern Region
Selam Seyoum, Nov 18, 2008
The National Diabetes Day was celebrated at a national level in the city of Mendefera, Southern region, on Friday November 14, 2008.
The celebrations started with children parading through the main roads of Mendefera to the hall where the celebration was due to take place, sporting banners calling to fight diabetes.
Present at the ceremony were Dr. Rezene Araya, Chairperson of the Eritrean National Diabetic Association, Mr. Tesfatsion Ghirmay, Head of Social Services of the Southern Region, Mr. Berhane Gebretensae, Director General of Health Services at the Ministry of Health, members of the National Diabetic Association and other invited guests.
During the occasion, Ms. Weini Negash, Head of the National Union of Eritrean Women branch of the Southern region, said that women, young or old, have greater responsibility in preventing the disease and treating patients. She promised that the Union would collaborate with the Association in conducting campaigns. Other associations like the National Union of Eritrean Youth and Students also pledged support.
The Southern Region administration donated 50,000 Nakfa for the Association..
Mr. Berhane Gebretensae, on his part explained that Eritrea has controlled the spread pf transmitted diseases but those diseases that are not transmitted, like diabetes, remain the real threat to the whole world. In 2003, there were 194 million diabetic people. The number is expected to reach 333 million, making 6.5% of the total world population diabetic. More than 3 million of the mortality in the world is caused by diabetes.
He added that in the Eritrean case, the rate is increasing and more than 50% of the patients do not know they are diabetics. Other professionals also gave medical presentations during the occasion.
The chairperson of the Diabetic Association, in his speech said that the Diabetes Day has been celebrated under the UN observation, with particular concern on children and youth. Diabetes is a national problem since it is causing economical and mental problems to people in every age.
Also as part of the celebrations, a 12-km race was conducted by around 45 athletes from every sub zones of the Southern region on the eve of the Day.
Mr. Negassi Tesfagabr, head of the Sport Commission in the Southern region, said that the Sport Commission has a good work relationship with the Diabetes Association and participates in campaigns that are conducted by the association. He added that the race is one of the indirect campaigns to raise the society˘s awareness on diabetes.
Mr. Essayas Habtemichael, who stood first on the race, said that physical training is one of the ways to prevent the disease. He said that anyone who came to attend the race went home learning something new about diabetes.
In his speech after the race, Dr. Rezene Araya, promised that the Association would prepare more organized races in the future if athletes are willing to represent their sub zones.
Similar activities were conducted in the southern region in the past weeks to improve the awareness of the society, like the general knowledge competitions among 9th grade female students from the 12 sub zones of the southern region.
Outstanding athletes from the race and winners of the general knowledge competition were awarded prizes during the official ceremony.
This year˘s National Diabetes Day was celebrated in the Southern region because it has the highest number of patients next to the Central region. The Association has planned to commemorate the day in the Gash Barka region next year.
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