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Friday, May 14, 2010

Sending some love to Body Love

During my time here in St. Lucia I have been lucky enough to meet the neat people of Media for Health, an organization that produces a radio show called Body Love. Based out of Birmingham, Alabama, Body Love is a radio soap featuring Vanessa Love and Rosalyn Armstrong, hairdressers who deal with everything from family, love interests, hair, and… diabetes.

What’s neat about Body Love (for me) is that during my research on Entertainment Education I’ve read about some great projects from everywhere like India, St. Lucia and Mexico. But this is the first official EE radio project I’ve heard about in my country, the USA. After each program airs, Body Love features a call-in show where they take listener calls and provide medical answers to anything and everything health related.

I love what Media for Health is all about! In fact (and unfortunately) St. Lucia, where I’m currently based, has the highest per capita cases of diabetes in the world. According to Caribbean Net News – over 31,000 St. Lucians were diagnosed with diabetes in 2007. It hits home for me on a personal note as well. My grandmother was stricken with a serious case of diabetes. From an early age I remember every time my grandmother, Esperanza, visited us -- watching her with wonder as she gave herself insulin injections in her thigh. We always had orange juice in the house whenever she visited in case her blood sugar level was low. As a child I could never understand how one could give them self an injection, yet I couldn’t look away either. Eventually I found out that the medical reason behind Esperanza’s diabetes was that her pancreas wasn’t working like normal and was unable to break down sugars. When I was a little older my mother became diabetic.

Did you know that in the US diabetes affects minorities particularly African Americans and Hispanics at higher rates than Caucasians?

And at a conference on diabetes, Lars Rebien Sorensen, president and CEO of Novo Nordisk said "Diabetes will constitute the most significant public health challenge of the 21st century if no action is taken now. It is already causing as many deaths as HIV/AIDS. We need to explore practical ways of redefining healthcare, by focusing on the needs of people with diabetes."

The name “Esperanza” translates as hope. And in the spirit of my grandmother’s name I sincerely hope we can tackle this issue as it affects not only adults but a growing number of children. Type 2 diabetes was once informally called “adult on-set diabetes”, but now that so many children have been diagnosed with this illness, it is no longer an adult issue. It’s our disease as well as our future generation’s disease.

So with that – thank you Body Love and Media for Health for all you do! Keep up the programming and here’s to a positive (sugar) balanced future. ; )


Catch episodes of Body Love at http://www.soph.uab.edu/bodylove/


1 comments:

Dennis said...

Judy,
Thanks. Your blog is spreading so much good information....keep it up!
Tonight there's a fund-raiser for diabetes camps in Birmingham I willo attend. Diabetes camps are an amazing place where children with diabetes learn from each other and learn that there is so much more going on in this world beyond their illness. Like playing third base, getting up on water skis or making through that zip line and high ropes course. It also provides parents a precious week off from medical supervision duty....something they devote their lives to, 24/7. If you ever get a chance to visit a diabetes camp, or support one, do it.

Peace.

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