Roxborough Anglican Primary School student, Summer Leigh Holder walked away with the top prize in the 9th annual Bovell Cancer Diabetes Foundation island-wide school children poster competition, having the most innovative depiction of the 2017 World Diabetes Day theme, “Women and Diabetes.” Holder also took the first prize in the ‘colourful’ category in the 10-15 age group.
Secretary of Health, Wellness and Family Development, Dr Agatha Carrington, speaking at the prize-giving ceremony on Tuesday at the Works Conference Room in Shaw Park, urged the audience consisting mainly of schoolchildren, to adopt a healthy lifestyle.
“Children are not exempted from diabetes. We recall in 2015, the IDF (International Diabetes Federation) recorded 42,000 children under age 15 with
type 1 diabetes and we’ve had 86,000 new type 1’s per year in that same under 15 age group. This is cause for concern.
“These stats really point to the need for urgent action and building on the work of the NGOs and CBOs as we try to minimize the impact of this disease on our women, men, boys and girls,” Carrington said.
Assistant Secretary in the office of the Chief Secretary with responsibility for Education, Innovation and Energy, Marisha Osmond, also addressing the audience, said a better understanding of diabetes and an awareness of consequences could help prevent the disease.
“Lifestyle diseases such as diabetes can be eradicated through education. The greater the effort directed towards informing us, the public, the greater the chances of preventing increased numbers of diabetic cases. Prevention of diabetes starts with, of course, the development of better lifestyles, healthy eating, being active and going to the doctor regularly,” she said.
In the competition which was intended to help raise awareness about diabetes, its prevention and effective management, over 60 entries were received from students between the ages of 6- 15 years, with 19 of them being awarded for accomplishments in three categories of art - drawing, colourful and other.
Also at the prize giving, some 40 blood glucose machines as well as footwear were distributed to members of the audience by the Foundation.