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Wednesday, October 26, 2011

World Diabetes Day, November 14th

 November 14 is World Diabetes Day, a day to raise awareness of diabetes and an opportunity to learn how to prevent diabetes. This year has great significance as we mark the 90th anniversary of the discovery of insulin, a life-saving treatment for diabetes patients, by Sir Frederick Banting, He along with Drs. Best, John Macleod and James Collip, co discovered insulin. What a discovery! We are proud of our fellow Canadians and their gift of insulin to the world. Insulin is an amazing discovery that has saved the lives of many individuals.


Today, more than 9 million Canadians live with diabetes or prediabetes - a condition that, if left unchecked, puts you at risk of developing type 2 diabetes.  This means that nearly 1 in 4 Canadians either has diabetes or prediabetes. The World Health Organization estimates that more than 220 million people worldwide have diabetes. This number is likely to more than double by 2030 if no changes are made to reduce the risks of diabetes.  


The number of people with type 2 diabetes is rising dramatically due to a number of factors:

  • An aging population - the risk of developing type 2 diabetes rises with age;
  • Rising obesity rates - obesity dramatically increases the likelihood of developing type 2 diabetes;
  • Increasingly sedentary lifestyles are contributing to rising obesity rates, particularly in younger Canadians, which can lead to type 2 diabetes;
  • People of Aboriginal descent are 3 to 5 times more likely than the general population to develop type 2 diabetes; and
  • Almost 80% of new Canadians are from populations that have a higher risk for type 2 diabetes. These include people of Hispanic, Asian, South Asian, or African descent.



The serious complications
Diabetes is a condition that must be taken seriously as it can, if not well managed, lead to serious complications and premature death:


·         80% of Canadians with diabetes die from a heart attack or a stroke;


·         42% of new kidney dialysis patients in 2004 had diabetes.


·         Diabetes is the single leading cause of blindness in Canada;


·         7 of 10 non-traumatic limb amputations are the result of diabetes complications;


·         25% of people with diabetes suffer from depression




Time for action


One step at a time you can start the journey to either reduce your risk of diabetes or to manage diabetes if you have it. That may include making lifestyle changes that are challenging at first but over time will become easier. Consider these simple steps to help reduce your diabetes risk.




1. Lead a healthy lifestyle: If above a healthy weight, lose 5% of your body weight to decrease risk of progressing from prediabetes to type 2 diabetes by as much as 60%.


2. Eat a healthy diet by following Canada’s Food Guide: Emphasize vegetables, fruit, whole grains and high fibre foods.


3. Get regular physical activity: 30 – 60 minutes a day, most days of the week.


4. Be smoke free.




For more information on prevention of or management of diabetes please contact: Brandon Regional Health Authority’s Diabetes and Heart Health Promotion program @ 578-2370


Adapted from



Posted by Regional Health Authority @ 16:07 | E-mail this blog entry to a friend | PermaLink

Monday, October 17, 2011

It's Flu Season


It’s Flu Season….


Brandon RHA Mass Flu Clinics Starting October 15th




Get the shot, not the flu and protect yourself against H1N1 at the same time.




This year the annual seasonal flu shot is available to all Manitobans at no charge.  It will offer protection against H1N1 and two additional seasonal flu strains. Flu shots are the best defense against influenza infection and illness and are recommended annually.




“It contains three viruses that are selected every year by the World Health Organization based on what’s been circulating around the globe,” says Jodie Gompf, Immunization Coordinator with the Brandon Regional Health Authority (Brandon RHA). “That’s why it’s important to get it every year because it’s always changing based on what’s been circulating.”




This year the Brandon RHA will be offering mass clinics with extended hours to make it more convenient for people.  (Please see box insert for dates, times and location).  In addition to the seasonal flu shot Manitobans over the age of 65 or those with a chronic illness should also get a pneumococcal shot at the same time. This protects people from such illnesses as pneumonia, respiratory infections, coughs and colds.




Gompf says people often confuse the flu shot with protecting them from the stomach flu and the common cold, which is much different from influenza. Influenza is a respiratory illness caused by a virus. You may become quite ill and be “flat out on your back for one to two weeks” with fever, chills, aches and pains. That is why it’s important to protect yourself, your family and your community.




“Someone could sneeze and touch the door and you follow behind them and touch the door and then you go and shake hands with someone who takes that home to a newborn baby.  It’s the roots of transmission that people don’t often think of,” says Jodie Gompf.




Often people shy away from getting the flu shot because they think they may get sick from the shot. But Gompf say that it’s not possible because the vaccine does not contain a live virus.  Most common side affects that people may experience are redness, swelling and maybe a few aches and pains.  If they do get sick it’s more than likely something was starting before they were vaccinated.  Vaccines are known to be very safe.  It is much safer to get the vaccine than to get the flu.




An annual flu shot is especially important for those at increased risk of serious complications from the flu, their caregivers and close contacts.






This includes:



  • seniors age 65 or older
  • children age six months to four years
  • those with chronic illness
  • pregnant women
  • people who are severely overweight or obese
    health care workers and first responders
  • individuals of Aboriginal ancestry





Remember to bring your Manitoba Health Card when you come for your flu shot.  You can also go online and download the consent form, complete it and bring it with you to save time.  You can access the consent form by visiting this website.


For more information contact Public Health at 578-2522. 






Flu Clinic Dates




Saturday, October 15th


10:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.




Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday


October 18, 19, 20


9:00 a.m. – 9:00 p.m.




Saturday, October 22


10:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.




These flu clinics will all take place at the Nurses Residence Gym at the Brandon Regional Health Centre, at 150 McTavish Avenue East.




Free parking will be available on these dates in the front lot.





Filed under: Health,  Flu Clinics

Posted by Regional Health Authority @ 12:32 | E-mail this blog entry to a friend | PermaLink

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