– over 50% of participants tested positiveMore than 100 persons from the Linden community in Region 10 (Upper Demerara- Berbice) came out to be tested for diabetes on Friday during a diabetes awareness outreach titled “Eyes on diabetes, test to prevent”, organised by the Guyana Diabetic Association, in collaboration with the Public Health Ministry and the Linden Mayor and Town Council (LM&TC).The event, which was part of an awareness programme, was conducted at the Wisroc/Amelia’s Ward bus sheds, Mackenzie, and saw over 50 per cent of the participants testing positive for high blood sugar, the primary cause of diabetes.More than 100 persons from the Linden community benefited from the diabetes testing outreach held on FridayRepresentatives from Young Leaders in Diabetes, an arm of the Guyana Diabetic Association, Type 1 Association and Specialist Dr Jacqueline Ricardo, an Endocrinologist, also participated in the event.Guyana Diabetic Association President Glynis Beaton noted that the response from Lindeners was very good, but expressed concern over the high percentage of attendees who tested positive for diabetes.“The response was very good, except you have a sugar factory in Linden. Once the machine reads high, it’s over 600. Read from high to as low as 79, but we have patience that we just checked with 555, 464, 350; that’s the ranges we’re reading. Over 50 per cent (of those who tested) have high blood sugar right now,” Beaton stated.Following testing, participants were referred to Dr Ricardo for consultations and insulin prescriptions, as needed.Those who participated in the outreach also benefited from free insulin, blood sugar strips and testing machine donations as well as services provided by a free eye clinic.Beaton indicated that the eye clinic received enormous support, but stressed that unfortunately participants were unable to access services offered by the Guyana Care project in the area of diabetic eye retinopathy, owing to the absence of the required machine.“I really wanted that machine up here, but I’m going to fight to bring it back, because they need the opportunity,” Beaton said, as she also stressed that diabetic foot care was also absent from the activity.Nevertheless, she praised the products and services offered by local companies NEW GPC and ANSA McAL, which were actively involved in providing products for participants.Speaking with Guyana Times, Young Leaders in Diabetes President Keziah Nestor said there was a really good turnout and great interest.She explained that it was the Association’s first outreach for 2017, and pointed to more such activities in the future.“Basically what they’re receiving is education and treatment on how to deal with diabetes. We’re creating awareness of diabetes. We’re also collecting names of Type 1s (those with Type 1 diabetes) so that they can join the support group.”Nestor encouraged all to take control of their health, noting that diabetes was a serious issue in Guyana. She stressed that if awareness was not continuously spread, many lives may be lost to the disease.