Published On: Sun, Dec 2nd, 2018

Diabetes disease extremely high on the island

Dr Luc Mercelina presentation SMMC diabetes disease lecture

PHILIPSBURG—“At least 15% of the population of the island are suffering with diabetes,” said Member of Parliament and surgeon Dr. Luc Mercelina during his lecture at the St. Maarten Medical Center (SMMC) on Saturday. ‘It is very high and a very serious problem in the community,” he said.

Responding to the concern of a member of the audience who suggested that something has to be done to prevent this disease, he said that science has not been able to find out what is the real cause of the diabetes disease. “What we know is once a person has the disease medical professionals knows how to treat it if we are well informed,” he stated.

He noted that the problem in St. Maarten is that the residents who live on this island are not informed or educated about the diabetes disease. During the discussion he spoke of the diabetic foot and gave the statistics of how high the figures are in comparison to the other islands in the region and the world. The audience were quite alarmed with the photos of the damage to the person’s feet and the amount of amputations that are done on the island.

“If the people take heed and learn of the complications of the disease and how to prevent this disease it will be better for them,” he said. He called on the population to use their family doctor once they are not feeling well and the doctor will be able to diagnose the problem and find out what is wrong.

Speaking of the planned national health insurance for the island which has been discussed by the various governments, he said that this concept is done by the “rich” countries such as the Scandinavian countries, where the population can pay for the health care. However since we live in a developing country with a number of illegal residents who are uninsured, if this national health insurance is introduced, who is going to pay for those who are illegal and cannot pay their way.

“I am warning everybody who has diabetes to find the necessary information so as to work on the prevention of the disease,” he concluded.

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Diabetes (explained in simple English)
Diabetes mellitus (wikipedia)

Photo caption: MP Dr. Luc Mercelina delivering his lecture on diabetes at the St. Maarten Medical Center (SMMC) on Saturday morning, December 1, 2018. Photo Andrew Bishop.