Diabetes Awareness

Lions clubs diabetes awareness photo of a person getting a diabetes test

The Facts : 

More than 422 million people worldwide have diabetes. Diabetes is a leading cause of blindness, amputations, kidney failure, heart attacks and stroke, and early death. Currently, 46.5% of adults with diabetes are undiagnosed. The purpose of diabetes screening is to identify asymptomatic individuals who may have diabetes and not know it, and refer them to qualified healthcare professionals for additional assessment. A diabetes screening can help detect prediabetes as well as diabetes.

In Ireland, 200,000 people have been diagnosed as having Diabetes. A further 200,000 people are likely to have Diabetes but have not been diagnosed. In addition an estimated 250,000 Irish people have impaired glucose tolerance or ‘Pre-Diabetes’ Of these 50% or 125,000 WILL develop diabetes in the next five years unless they change their lifestyle. A simple blood test can indicate if YOU are at risk of contracting Diabetes. People who are Obese are at risk of becoming Diabetic. Modern lifestyle has led to many young Irish people becoming Obese.

Two kinds of Diabetes - Type 1 generally occurs among people under 35 years of age. Type 2 is a more common form and is prevalent in people aged over 40. In Ireland, 2,500 Children and Teenagers have Type 1 Diabetes. This incidence is expected to rise because of obesity among young people. Acute symptoms of Diabetes include frequent urination, excessive thirst, weight loss, fatigue and blurred vision. An average of 440 Irish people die every year from Diabetes. On average 314 leg amputations are carried out in Ireland every year because of complications associated with Diabetes. The Diabetes Federation of Ireland, which has 4,000 members, advocates on behalf of Diabetes patients.

The Action :

The Lions of District 133, Ireland, have been carrying out diabetes screening over many years at a variety of events, functions and occasions, wherever there are people gathered in great numbers. Examples of these are :

  • The National Ploughing Championships, where, each year, we aim to screen 7,000 people over the three days of the event engaging 70 nurses and 35 Lions working on two shifts each day. Of the 7000 tested we expect to refer between 500 and 600 of them to qualified healthcare professionals for additional assessment.
  • Reek Sunday occurs on the last Sunday of July each year and attracts thousands of pilgrims who come to climb Croagh Patrick. Westport Lions Club organise a Diabetes Screening at the foot of the mountain and they aim to screen 1,000 people on the day.
  • Lions Clubs of Ireland organise a holiday at Trabolgan Holliday camp each year for those who are in need of a holiday or cannot afford one. 700 people avail of this opportunity and we offer them free diabetes screenings.
  • Examples of other opportunities to carry out Diabetes Screenings are at Shopping Centres, Agricultural Shows, and Third Level Colleges etc.