MONROVIA, Montserrado – Imagine a rich thick palm butter sauce made from ripened nuts, spiced with just the right amount of herbs and mixed with generous portions of goat meat, cow skin, and pig feet. Serve this alongside a mound of rice and you’ve just about made every Liberian’s day.
But Jenneve Jackson, marketing representative of One Source Pharmacy, is cautioning the public against consuming too much starchy and fatty foods in order to reduce their risk of getting diabetes.
“I am advising everyone to work with us and take the advice to stay healthy,” she said. “You have to be careful with the kind of food you eat; it’s not just anything, take exercise daily and check your sugar level.”
Her company, a leading distributor of medical supplies in the country, has increased its awareness on the prevention and control of diabetes.
The World Health Organization says that 5.6 percent of Liberians have diabetes. Worse, much more are at risk – 28.4 percent – because they are overweight or obese.
Experts say the disease can lead to stroke, heart disease, kidney problems, nerve damage and blindness.
Jackson and other team members are increasing awareness on diabetes at schools and medical facilities in several communities around Monrovia as part of World Health Day celebration.
The campaign, she said, is focused on educating the public on methods of prevention, testing, and general health information.
“You don’t have to be a diabetic to take exercise or take precautions. You can prevent it by doing what is a good health practice,” she said. Adding vegetables to meals was an effective prevention tactic, she added.
Of course, as a for-profit organization, Jackson also aimed to get people into the doors of the pharmacy. “We also have a glucose meter for individuals for US$50 at One Source Pharmacy. With the meter, you don’t have to go to the hospital to know your sugar level,” she added.
She said because high blood pressure is a symptom of diabetes, there are also supplements and vitamins available at One Source Pharmacy for adults and children, all of which are from Europe and the US.
The pharmacy provides generic medicine and medical supplies to the public as well as clinics hospitals, doctor offices, universities and health care and medical professionals.
Featured photo by Gbatemah Senah