The Dominica Diabetes Association (DOMDA) is joining the Ministry of Health and the International Community this Thursday, November 14, 2013, in observance of World Diabetes Day. November 14is significant, as it marks the birthday of Frederick Banting, whose work (along with his colleague Charles Best) led to the discovery of insulin in 1922.

This year DOMDA has chosen the theme "Protect our Future…..Take a Step for Diabetes". This focuses on children and adolescents with emphasis on education and prevention, urging them to understand diabetes and take control of the disease. Also highlighting the importance of "staying active" as a key measure to prevent or delay the onset of diabetes.

Diabetes mellitus is a major public health challenge and the leading cause of death in Dominica. For the past two years there have been a reduction in the number of amputations due to diabetes . This is as a result of "Foot Care" training programmes for health care professionals and diabetics, undertaken by the Association, the Ministry of Health and the Rotary Club of Dominica.

Diabetes and its complications are largely preventable and there are proven, affordable interventions available. However, everyone has a role to play in helping to reverse the increasing trends associated with diabetes to help protect our future.

DOMDA will observe World Diabetes Day, Thursday November 14, 2013, with activities geared at raising awareness and drawing attention to diabetes and its effects on the lives of people. These activities involve radio discussions and the signature event "Diabetes Mélé….Youth in Action" featuring solidarity messages, personal testimonies and showcasing the talent of our youth in music, song, dance and hula-hoop demonstrations.

This event will be held at the Windsor Park Stadium from 5:00pm to 9:00 pm. The Diabetes Mele' is being done in collaboration with the Health Promotion of the Ministry of Health, the National Youth Council, the Peer Health Initiative (students of the All Saints University) Triple Kay Global and the management of the National Stadium.

The World Diabetes Day 2013 campaign is encouraging everyone to Take a Step for Diabetes. DOMDA invites all organizations within the NGO, public or private sectors to join in the campaign. A step is considered to be any activity that helps promote diabetes awareness, improve the lives of people living with diabetes, promote healthy lifestyles or reduces one's individual risk of developing diabetes.

Some examples of activities that can be undertaken are:

Organize a diabetes walk; Organize a diabetes awareness meeting or conference; Light a monument or building in blue; Wear blue for diabetes; Include the blue circle badge in your social media profile; Include a diabetes or World Diabetes Day related post in your social media page;

Let us all take action to keep diabetes in the spotlight. (Ministry of Health).