…promotions on cancer awareness bearing fruit – GRPABerbicians are being urged to reduce their salt intake. This is one of the recommendations of Endocrinologist Dr Yaquelin Gonalea Ricardo, who during a NEW GPC medial outreach in Berbice, Region Six, found that a lot of persons in the area are hypertensive.More than 200 persons visited the medical outreach at Port Mourant on Saturday, and were seen by the several doctors.According to Dr Ricardo, most of the persons seen were suffering from high blood pressure and diabetes. “When we ask those with high blood pressure why they did not take their medication, they say that they forget to take it only for today. But the truth is that sometimes they forget to take the tablets, and so the blood pressure is high,” Dr Ricardo told this publication.She explained that the team observed a similar trend with those who are diabetic.Expressing alarm at the high number of persons with high blood pressure, Dr Ricardo attributed this phenomenon to persons’ salt intake. She is of the opinion that many Berbicians use too much salt.She also noted that some of those who visited the outreach, held in front of Spready’s Supermarket at Port Mourant, took the medication which they were using to control their blood pressure.She, however, warned that persons need to monitor their salt intake if they are to control their blood pressure.Meanwhile, relative to diabetes, many persons were unaware that they are victims of the ailment.“The problem in Guyana is that many people don’t have good eating habits…they need to eat properly and to check their blood sugar twice a year,” she declared.Several persons were also treated for various other ailments and conditions, among them being back pain, flu and fever.The NEW GPC INC was able to provide locally manufactured medication to all the persons who visited the outreach.The outreach also facilitated diabetic eye screening.Breast cancerMeanwhile, as Guyana joined the rest of the world in observing Breast Cancer Awareness Month, approximately two dozen persons took advantage of the breast cancer screening during the outreach.According to Dr Calena Clohisy of the Guyana Responsible Parenthood Association (GRPA), there were also breast examinations done at the outreach, and VIA testing for cervical cancer.The VIA survey of character strengths is a simple self-assessment that takes less than 15 minutes and provides a wealth of information to help persons understand their core characteristics. Most personality tests focus on negative and neutral traits, but the VIA Survey focuses on a person’s best qualities.According to Dr Clochisy, all of the VIA tests and breast examinations were negative. “A lot of them, when I spoke to them, it was their first time being tested for VIA. A lot of them did not know what the VIA test was, but most of them have had a breast examination already, and were just coming back for another checkup,” she explained.She is of the opinion that promotions on cancer awareness are bearing fruit, and persons understand the importance of having regular breast checkups.This has been the fourth medical outreach hosted by the NEW GPC for the year. Outreaches have already been held in Linden, on the West Coast of Demerara, on the West Bank of Demerara, and on the Essequibo Coast.