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A New Year of the "Diabetes Club"!

A nurse takes vital signs at the beginning of the Diabetes Club.

We are excited to share images from this month’s "Club de Diabeticos" (Diabetes Club)! The Diabetes Club, which meets the first Thursday of each month, provides a special day when those dealing with diabetes and high blood pressure can come to Mission Guatemala's clinic for their checkup and any needed treatment, as well as social interaction and education about this disease.

Diabetes has consistently been one of the most common issue encountered in patients that come to Mission Guatemala's clinic, and continues to be a growing issue throughout the country. Dr. Lidia Balán formed the Diabetes Club in 2016 when she first began as our clinic doctor, with the goal of providing a space where those dealing with diabetes could gather together to learn more about the disease and how to manage it, as well as to receive their medicines for the month at an affordable price.

The Diabetes Club began as only a half-day event, but we have now set aside an entire day each month in order to better serve the increased number of people who have begun to participate! At the start of each Diabetes Club, the clinic staff take participant's vital signs such as blood pressure, temperature, oxygen saturation, heart rate, blood sugar levels and weight, and administer any needed laboratory testing, as well as any needed treatments such as IVs.

After the lab testing and treatments, Dr. Lidia or one of the other clinic staff provide an informative and motivational talk to help patients better understand the disease, as well as ways to manage it. Topics almost always include a review of the various "pillars of treatment," such as the importance of a regular check-up, the importance of drinking water, the importance of physical exercises, and the appropriate foods to eat and when it is best to eat them. Games are often played in order to help create a fun and interactive environment, giving the patients the opportunity to clear their heads through movement and laughter.

At the end of the day, each patient is given any needed medication for the following month, along with vitamins and a healthy snack. By dedicating this day each month to diabetic and hypertensive patients, our hope is that they will be empowered to live a more healthy and happy life!

If you would like to support the work of this vital program, we invite you to click here!

To see more photos from the Diabetes Club, click here!