Marianas Variety

Last updateThu, 18 Jan 2018 12am







    Wednesday, January 17, 2018-4:20:53P.M.






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Commonwealth Diabetes Coalition celebrates 15th year

COMMONWEALTH Diabetes Coalition chair Malua T. Peter encourages members of the community to help each other avoid diabetes.

The coalition celebrated its 15th anniversary by holding a health seminar in partnership with Ayuda Network Inc. at the Kanoa Resort on July 13-14.

Ayuda Network Inc. executive director Diana Camacho, Tokie Mojica, from the office of Rep. Francisco Dela Cruz, and Commonwealth Diabetes Coalition chair Marlua T. Peter pose for Variety during a seminar on social and health services at the Kanoa Resort last week.  Photo by Lori Lyn C. Lirio

The seminar featured health service providers who shared information on how to stay healthy.

“Our exhibitors showcased their services and products, and how they can assist community members,” Peter said.

“As a community, we need to help each other find ways to stop our family members from dying week after week due to these non-communicable diseases. We can prevail in our quest for a healthier CNMI because together we can prevent diabetes and other NCD’s.”

Peter said the coalition was organized by community advocates, individuals with diabetes, and individuals from partner government agencies and non-government groups.

“These individuals act as advocates for public education and outreach for the prevention and awareness of diabetes and all non-communicable diseases,” she added.

Since 2002, Peter said the coalition has been conducting conferences and other events that focus on diabetes prevention, education and intervention.

“We invite a variety of presenters including those from Hawaii and Guam. We also hold conferences with policy makers to address the need for prevention — it remains a priority in the CNMI which now has prevention programs for tobacco, substance abuse, cancer and diabetes among other things.”

She said the coalition also conducts training sessions on “Diabetes and You” with a curriculum that complements Public School System standards.

Peter said they also reach out to the public through the Community Health Conversation project which aims to educate people about diabetes and NCD’s through informal conversations.

The project involves families and households and discussions regarding the effects of non-communicable diseases and the risk factors associated with unhealthy lifestyles. The project was made possible through a grant from the U.S. Department of the Interior.

Peter said the coalition also succeeded in launching several campaigns on television, including “Water Is Cool,” “Cooking with Colors” and “When I Grow Up.”

“Among our other major accomplishments in partnership with other entities was the enactment of Public Law 16-46 or the Smoke Free Act of 2008 and the 2013 Declaration of a State of Health Emergency on NCDs in the CNMI.”

She said the declaration was necessary to address the epidemic of non-communicable diseases in the CNMI which, she added, is the most important health issue of our time.