We have been doing Diabetes Clinics on Isla Mujeres for thirteen years and each year more local residents participate. This is a joint project of volunteer bilingual social workers, nurses, EMT’s, paramedics and nutritionists from the USA and our Isla Mujeres community partners who are volunteer nurses, paramedics, EMT’s and doctors.
First stop is registration where we register people and take their contact information. Next stop, they are triaged by a health care professional who takes some initial medical history. Some of the patients just want to be tested, but most already have been diagnosed with Diabetes by the public health clinic on Isla. Many are taking medications, some are on insulin, however there are always walk-ins who are undiagnosed and untreated. Very few patients have access to expensive glucometers or strips, and that is the main emphasis of the clinic: to teach patients how to manage their disease.
After each patient is tested we do diabetes education about nutrition and exercise and teach them how to use the meters and strips so that they can have more control over their blood sugars and health. We then give them the equipment needed and let them know how to contact us for more strips and supplies as needed. If we test a patient and the result is very high blood sugars, we have a doctor working with us in the clinic and refer them directly to the doctor. At our most recent clinic in December 2022, 39% of patients had blood sugars over 200 even though most are on medicine for diabetes.
The clinics scheduled for 2020 & 2021 were cancelled due to the Covid pandemic so we opened up a small clinic mid island where we have been able to serve our patients individually. Please consider a monetary donation or diabetes supplies, specifically strips for the following meters: Contour Next and OneTouch Ultra Blue brands. Many doctor’s offices, clinics and hospitals discard strips that are almost expired. If you have any connection with medical professionals or pharmaceutical reps, you can often get current or almost expired supplies. We can also use lancets, alcohol swabs and glucose tablets.
We had a very successful clinic as part of a larger health fair that we created with the Community Hospital on Isla Mujeres. Along with HIV testing, dental and vaccinations, we provided detection of diabetes along with diabetes education and nutritional counseling. Our patients received new meters, strips and lancets, along with reading glasses.
Please contact Karen Rosenberg LISW to donate supplies or money at firstname.lastname@example.org. If you are on Isla, Geovanny Avalos, EMT, will meet you wherever you are staying and receive your donations.
You can also drop off donations at the Cockteleria la Justicia de Don Pino which is near Chedraui and we will pick them up from there.