THE CHARITY Calvia Lions and Specsavers Opticas in Santa Ponca are working together to raise awareness of the dangers of diabetes by offering free testing to Mallorca residents.
The free tests can provide an early diagnosis before more serious damage is done. Reports from 2014 suggest that the chronic disease affects around 9 per cent of the global population and the number of sufferers is growing.
In fact, the World Health Organisation (WHO) predicts that diabetes will be the 7th leading cause of death in 2030.
The disease can wreak havoc on the heart, blood vessels, eyes, kidneys and nerves when not properly managed. Diabetic retinopathy, a common consequence of diabetes, can result in blindness caused by long-term accumulated damage to the small blood vessels in the retina.
One per cent of global blindness can be attributed to the diabetes.
During the 2015 Specsavers and Calvia Lions campaign, approximately 150 Mallorca residents were tested for the disease with seven of those advised to seek medical attention.
In 2016, the first testing event of the year will be held on January 23 from 10 am to 1 pm, with further events happening every two months and more frequently during the summer season. Specsavers in Santa Ponca will host the events and attendees can also benefit from free eye tests.
On the day, a qualified nurse will conduct a simple finger prick test to detect signs of diabetes. This service is open to all, is completely free of charge, and results will be given immediately. If a positive result is shown, patients will be referred for medical advice.
The charity Calvia Lions is part of the Lions Clubs International Foundation (LCIF) and aims to fight blindness. A spokesperson for the organisation, Adrian Elkinson, stated that “Recognising that diabetes can cause impairment of a person´s sight, Lions and Specsavers Opticas are active in helping individuals to identify any diabetes issues.” He also thanked two nurses who devote their time free of charge.
More information is available at Specsavers Santa Ponca and on the website www.specsavers.es.