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By Rich Bailey
Blood Pressure & Glucose Screening
Cruz Roja Chapala International Volunteers have been conducting blood pressures and glucose screenings in front of Salvador’s Restaurant on Wednesdays’ from 10 am to noon since the beginning of January. This project has become very successful based on the response from the community. The volunteers have all been trained by professional medical personnel. One of Cruz Roja’s main community functions other then emergency response is to provide education to the public.
Mexico has a very high diabetes rate because of diet, high sugar content beverages consumed, and heredity. The “IDF Diabetes Atlas” estimates that diabetes existed in 10-14% of the population of Mexico in 2007 and may grow to as high as 20% by 2025. Worldwide, Mexico ranks 10th in rate of diabetes for adults aged 20-79. Most of these cases are undiagnosed and the individuals involved do not understand the seriousness of the problem.
Along with educating the community about diabetes, Cruz Roja provides information regarding the work being done by the Cruz Roja delegacion de Guadalajara for vision screening if the disease has caused some loss of sight. Dr. Calonje from Arizona is an expert in Retina Replacement Surgery and he has donated a wing for an eye clinic at the Cruz Roja Guadalajara as well as bringing equipment to the clinic once per quarter to do the screenings and follow-up surgeries for those patients who qualify. He and his team have performed more than 750 surgeries to date. Dr. Calonje has also been training the local doctors at the clinic such that they may do the surgeries in the future.
We hope that you will take advantage of the screenings being done in Ajijic on Wednesday’s if for no other reason than to keep abreast of your own health. Information on all the other services Cruz Roja provides can be found at the screening also. We are always looking for volunteers to join this dedicated group. If you want to be a volunteer to take blood pressures or glucose readings, please contact Megan Tingen 766-3250 or Lynn Turnbull 766-0270. Other information about Cruz Roja Chapala can be found on our website www.cruzrojachapala.com. I encourage you to look at the website and to call to volunteer. I guaranty you will find that helping this great service organization will give you satisfaction in knowing that what you do may save lives in the community. The Cruz Roja Chapala International Volunteers general meeting is the first Wednesday of every month at the Lake Chapala Society Gazebo at 2:00. You are invited to come and visit with us, maybe you will find a niche you would like to fill.
As always remember “The life you save maybe your own”