Diabetes awareness, there can't be too much of it - particularly because more than 40 thousand Belizeans are suffering with the disease.
The trouble is that half of the cases go un-detected - usually until its too late.
So awareness events like today's Diabetes fair are critical - as Monica Bodden found out:
Monica Bodden Reporting
Today the parking lot at the KHMH was buzzing with activity as different health organizations presented booths displaying a wealth of information.
As a part of celebrating World Diabetes Day, the mini Health Fair was held to educate Belizeans about the deadly disease.
Dubbed as the silent killer - statics shows 13.1 percent of the adult population in Belize is living with diabetes.
Those are scary numbers and the president of the Diabetes Association told us why we should start living a healthier lifestyle.
Anthony Castillo - President, Belize Diabetes Association
"Today, November 14, is World Diabetes Day, and what we're doing here, is to continue to create the awareness on the condition, diabetes. As I have stated earlier, statistics are showing that 13.1% of the adult population, ages 20-79, are living with diabetes. That's converts to about 45,000 Belizeans living with diabetes. So, there is an urgent need for us to continue to inform and educate persons on the condition, diabetes."
And while statics show that 45 thousand Belizeans are living with the disease, it raises many concerns. Today information in abundance was provided to educate people on how to live a healthier lifestyle.
"Today, we have our various partners who offer goods and services to persons living with diabetes. So, each booth will have their displays to inform the public where you can get this product or that service for diabetes. It is important for Belizeans to take the condition seriously because diabetes is one of those conditions which are dubbed 'the silent killer'. Quite a number of Belizeans, unfortunately, are living with diabetes unknowingly. So, what I ask Belizeans to do is to check their diabetes status. Take the blood test, have an annual check, and see whether or not you are living with the condition or not, because you can develop diabetes unknowingly, and you live with it. It's when the complication comes in, its then you realize that you are living with diabetes. And it affects every organ: your eyes, your kidneys, neuropathy, nephropathy, and all those complications. So it is important for Belizeans to check their status for diabetes."
This morning many people took advantage of getting their blood sugar tested for free; even I sat in the testing chair and got mine done. I was told the importance of knowing your status and taking care of yourself.
Barbara Johnson - Executive Member, Belize Diabetes Association
"Normally, they say that the range is 70 to 120. And once you shoot over that, you're in the danger zone. We would advise that you see a doctor. I am a diabetic for many years now - 25 years actually - and I try to eat healthy. I advise Belizeans, whether you have diabetes or not, eat healthy. We need to practice to eat a lot of vegetables and fruits in our diet."
The theme for this year's World Diabetes Day, being observed today, is "Protect Our Future".
The World Health Organization, projects that deaths caused by diabetes will increase by two thirds until 2030.