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Barely 1% of Gozo’s population took park in diabetes check

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Barely 1% of Gozo's population took park in diabetes checkThe Vivian Corporation have announced the results of the first phase of the Diabetes Campaign in Gozo. “Results give reason for more people to take reading in forthcoming second phase in November,” said the company.

Monitoring is the key for the prevention and management of diabetes, a condition which does not only affect the individual’s lifestyle but also those around them.

“Only 304 people visited a pharmacy and tested their blood glucose levels during the first phase of a diabetes awareness campaign conducted in Gozo in September, numbers which were deemed very low and rather disappointing considering that this is a health awareness campaign and the tests were being offered free of charge.” This was stated by Gordon Zammit, Sales & Marketing Manager, Medical Division at Vivian Corporation during a briefing for the media at the company’s premises to announce the results from the first phase of the campaign.

Themed ‘Accu-Chek in Gozo,’ the campaign is being conducted by Vivian Corporation with the support of Accu-Chek Active, a blood glucose meter produced by Roche Diagnostics and distributed in Malta by Vivian Corporation. The next phase of this campaign will be held next week, between the 7th and the 14th of November. This offers an opportunity for those who did not participate in the first phase of the campaign to test at their closest pharmacy. Vivian Corporation also invite those who already tested in September to re-visit, ideally at the same pharmacy, to take the second blood glucose reading.

Elaborating on the statistical results from the first readings, Mr Zammit noted that the average age of those taking the test stood at 55 and that out of the 304 participants, 165 were males and 139 were females. “Out of the 94 tests which were taken under fasting conditions, 19% were above normal levels; whilst the results taken from the 210 tests taken randomly (not fasting) 15% were also above normal levels. One particular case was of a 65 year old female whose random test stood at 21.7 mmol/L, which should be below at 8mmol/L at random. She had never taken such a test before.”

“Despite offering free tests to the public for one week, having full cooperation with pharmacies in Gozo and supported with strong publicity and promotion, barely 1% of Gozo’s official population participated in this initiative.”

“We hope to have a better turnout during the forthcoming second reading between the 7th and 14th of November, not only in Victoria but more importantly in all the other localities which enjoy the presence of a pharmacy. We urge all Gozitans to take part as we must not pretend that the risk is not there. Knowing is the best tool to safeguard one’s future without complications, and it is important for everyone to know that the pharmacist is an intelligent and caring healthcare professional that people must not be shy to approach.”

Mr Zammit explained the reason behind this diabetes campaign. “Vivian Corporation is a company that loves putting its mission and its values into practice. Our interests are based on delivering healthcare but more importantly, we seek to celebrate life across all our campaigns. When it comes to diabetes, we are witnessing alarming figures. Internationally these past 5 years have seen the number of persons with diabetes grow by 27%. Diabetes now affects approximately 246 million people worldwide. Apart from the effect diabetes has on one`s life, the economic burden of healthcare costs should also be taken into consideration. The WHO reports that diabetes care, costs 2.5-15% of the total direct health care expenditure. By 2025, diabetes is expected to eat up 40% of some countries’ health budgets.”

“It was in the light of all this that Vivian Corporation, exclusive distributors of Accu-Chek®decided to host this awareness campaign in Gozo. Besides the opportunity that enabled us to treat Gozo as a singular region and besides the fact that such a study was never conducted in Gozo, this was a trial for a bigger campaign targeting different localities in Malta that Vivian Corporation intends pursuing in 2012,” announced Mr Zammit.

The second round of blood glucose monitoring will take place between the 7th and 14th November to coincide with World Diabetes Day. The overall results and comparative figures collated from the study will be formally announced during a presentation on the 18th of November for pharmacists and healthcare professionals practicing in Gozo.

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