NASSAU, BAHAMAS – Eugene Thurston, chief executive of the Diabetes Association of the Bahamas, said on Thursday more funds were needed to ensure the organization does not collapse in the wake of Hurricane Dorian.
The association helps more than 35 people daily and is seen as a safety net for hundreds of diabetics across the country.
Advice, wellness programs and a 24/7 hotline are available to each client.
However, Thurston said there had been a strain on supplies and resources with the recent influx of citizens from Abaco and Grand Bahama to Nassau.
“Diabetics are the ones who occupy most of the beds in the hospital,” Thurston said.
“They are the ones responsible for most of the absenteeism at work. It is therefore an essential service that must be opened.
Although the government provides some financial support to the association, Thurston said these funds are not sufficient to provide the services required.
“Running a place like this on an annual basis successfully costs around $ 200,000,” he said.
“When you come here, the services are free. If the services are closed, it would be devastating for many people who use these services. “
“So I say to companies in the Bahamas, please help us. We are in a desperate situation. This is the worst he has ever been. We hope that you [ corporate Bahamas] would take a step forward [because]we certainly don’t want to close the door after 32 years.
Dr Monique Mitchell, one of the country’s four podiatrists and a partner of the Diabetics Association, said hospitals and clinics are often overcrowded, organizations like the Diabetics Association of the Bahamas must be protected at all costs. .
“They provide preventative services,” Mitchell said.
“They set up programs for children. that would leave a big void [if they close down]. I think there is room for improvement and the funding has really slowed them down, in terms of what they can do.
“Going to a private doctor can cost anywhere from $ 150 to $ 160 and more. We have a lot of complications from diabetes. Here in the Bahamas, we have seen approximately 1000 amputations per year at PMH (Princes Margaret Hospital).
Mitchell added, “If the Diabetics Association is not there to do prevention, we can expect these numbers to increase. We absolutely need to step up our efforts to ensure that these services continue to be provided. “
The Diabetics Association is located in Suite # 4 inside Legacy Plaza, Prince Charles Drive. All interested are encouraged to contact Thurston at 809-7705.