For the next week children who have been diagnosed with type 1 diabetes have been invited to a Diabetes youth summer camp at ITVET. The camp is held by the Belize Diabetes Association, making this their 9th annual diabetes camp. The camp aims to bring awareness to the children on their required diet and self-care while helping parents cope and support their children. Love News Reporter, Naim Borges, attended the camp and filed this report.
Reporter: “There are over sixty-plus children around the country of Belize who have been diagnosed with type 1 diabetes. Today they were invited to participate in a youth summer camp here at ITVET where they were engaged in fun activities and learning sessions. The camp offers lessons not only for the children but also their parents educating them on the disease on how to cope with it and the child. The kids were also given foods and snacks as an example of what their ideal diet should contain. During the camp, we were able to talk to Anthony Castillo the Diabetes Education Officer for the Belize Diabetes Association where he told us about some of the challenges the kids have been facing at school.”
Anthony Castillo – Diabetes Education Officer: “For children living with type 1 diabetes and you are going to school, some of the challenges are because of the complications. When your sugar level is high, one of the side effects of having a high sugar level is frequent urination, going to the bathroom. If you are hypoglycemic or have low blood sugar while you are in class then you will need to consume food: you will need to drink something or eat something to elevate back your sugar level. When you are in school you are not allowed to eat however if your sugar level falls then you would need to consume food so these are some of the challenges they would have or for instance, frequent urination. You are in class and you need to use the bathroom because of the high level of sugar or the complication kicking in, you will need to go to the bathroom more frequent than the average child and this could be a challenge where the child was sent like ten minutes ago to the bathroom and needs to go again. The teachers may think the child does not want to cooperate in whatever subject is being taught at that time and may be refused to go to the bathroom. These are just a few of the challenges that our young children would face living with type 1 diabetes. We have been working on this and we have been able to reach out to some of the schools: it is to go out and educate the school, educate the teachers, principals, the other children as well on the condition of diabetes.”
Reporter: “ As we went around meeting everyone at the camp we caught up with William Dawson Public Relations Officer for DBA and his son and they told us about their story.”
William Dawson – Public Relations Officer: “My son Deandre has been diagnosed since he was four years old with the condition of diabetes. He is a type one insulin-dependent person and the thing about the camp is that I needed to understand the condition. It helped me to build awareness of how to treat Deandre and so joining the association assisted and benefited me greatly in learning more on how to deal with the condition and how to deal with it psychologically as a parent and how to assist Deandre along the way with understanding his own condition.”
Deandre Dawson: “For children out there that have just been diagnosed I would advise them that instead of eating the sweets maybe you would like to eat a piece of fruit and live more of a healthy lifestyle because the sweets are more dangerous for you, it’s not good for you. You can also live a healthy lifestyle by eating in portions, it is not that you can’t eat it, it is the amount that you eat and diabetes is not a thing that you makes you not normal, you are normal.”
Reporter: “The camp will proceed until July 19th, 2019 but the association still invites parents and children to come and attend the camp as it will help them and help the BDA build awareness around the country. Reporting for Love News I am Naim Borges.”