A series of activities in the context of World Diabetes Day 2023 were launched, yesterday, by the Minister of Health and Wellness, Dr Kailesh Kumar Singh Jagutpal, at the Farmers’ Service Centre in Riviere du Rempart.
The Attorney General and Minister of Foreign Affairs, Regional Integration and International Trade, Mr Maneesh Gobin; the Minister of Gender Equality and Family Welfare, Mrs Kalpana Devi Koonjoo-Shah; the Parliamentary Private Secretary (PPS), Mr Sharvanand Ramkaun; the Member of Parliament, Mr Rajanah Dhaliah; the World Health Organisation (WHO) Representative in Mauritius, Dr Anne Marie Ancia; and other eminent personalities were present.
In his keynote address, Dr Jagutpal revealed plans for a new mediclinic in Riviere du Rempart aiming to enhance healthcare accessibility for the population. Emphasising the Ministry’s commitment to combating diabetes, he highlighted the insidious nature of the disease, often silently compromising people’s health without visible symptoms.
The Minister stressed the importance of supporting the population in maintaining a robust health and steering clear of diabetes. He urged proactive engagement in healthy practices, advocating for lifestyle changes aligned with the Ministry’s preventive measures.
Dr Jagutpal further shared concerning statistics, revealing that in Mauritius, four out of 10 people are overweight, four are obese, and only two maintain a healthy status. With 15% affected by diabetes and a significant portion grappling with weight and cholesterol issues, he therefore urged collective efforts to reverse these trends. He implored the community to adopt healthier eating habits, embrace exercise, and prioritise their well-being.
Minister Gobin, in his address, remarked that despite facilities like health tracks, soccer pitches, and gyms, people underutilised these facilities. Encouraging simple physical activities to promote fitness, he urged individuals to set examples for future generations and cultivate healthier lifestyles.
He praised the collaboration between the Ministry of Health and Wellness and the WHO, particularly during the COVID-19 pandemic, and highlighted that the upcoming mediclinic in Riviere du Rempart will be a pivotal development for providing top-notch healthcare.
For her part, Minister Koonjoo-Shah underscored the importance of World Diabetes Day, urging responsible health choices among the population. She dwelt on the measures put in place to combat the disease while lauding the Ministry’s provision of world-class health services. Additionally, she shed light on gestational diabetes, a concern during pregnancy.
Other speakers, including PPS Ramkaun and Mr Dhaliah, spoke about the importance of a healthy lifestyle. They reiterated the seriousness of diabetes and urged people to seek guidance from present medical professionals.
As for Dr Ancia, she stressed the ongoing need for public awareness regarding diabetes, emphasising the lack of physical activity in Mauritius. Advocating for better eating habits, especially for those with a familial diabetes history, she highlighted diabetes as a leading cause of global mortality. She further shared alarming statistics, indicating a rising diabetic population in Africa. She highlighted the need for collaborative efforts between Mauritius and India to stabilise prevailing diabetes.