A number of local and regional agencies have come together to launch and new project to raise awareness about diabetes in the county.
The new campaign has designated the whole month of November to the project.
Mayo Diabetes Awareness Month will see a number of events taking place, including talks and information days in Ballina and Castlebar, in a bid to tackle the county’s diabetes levels.
According to a county by county health report, published in the Irish Examiner earlier this year, Mayo has one of the highest rates of diabetes in the country, with between 3.65 and 3.8 per cent of the adult population diagnosed with diabetes over a 12 month period.
Mayo Diabetes Awareness Month is a joint venture between Mayo PCCC, HSE West, Mayo General Hospital, heart and stroke charity Croí and Diabetes Ireland.
“Designating November as diabetes awareness month provides the opportunity to collectively focus our efforts in Mayo, and to communicate key messages on how to recognise, prevent and or manage diabetes,” said practice nurse coordinator and member of the Mayo Diabetes Forum, Kathy McSharry.
Croí nurse Ailish Houlihan said the charity is delighted to be involved in the initiative, particularly given that diabetes is a strong risk factor for heart disease.
“What is particularly concerning is that many people who are living with diabetes are not aware they have it,” continued Ms Houlihan. “One of the key messages of this campaign is to encourage people over 40 years to visit their GP for a blood test to check for diabetes. The good news is that, with a combination of early detection, a healthier lifestyle, patient education, and improved access to treatment, diabetes can be managed better.”
To find out more about Mayo Diabetes Awareness Month, contact Kathy McSharry, Mayo Diabetes Forum, on (094 ) 9042164.