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Decorations outside the Tatil Building on Maraval Road in observance of World Diabaties Day.

Tatil and Tatil Life gave this year’s Black Friday a whole new meaning and colour, Blue Friday, in commemoration of World Diabetes Day which is celebrated today.

“In Trinidad and Tobago, we are also celebrating Divali so we took the decision to recognise the diabetes thrust in Trinidad and Tobago today,” Managing Director of Tatil Musa Ibrahim said.

The insurance company took on the diabetes cause as its corporate social responsibility one year ago and according to Ibrahim it’s because, through its life and health policies, Tatil General and Tatil Life, they see the severe effects of the illness.

“Our objective really is to educate the population so that everyone can be aware of what this disease does to individuals, “Ibrahim said.

On Friday, Tatil employees wore blue, some even incorporated their Divali wear with the cause.

The exterior of the building was covered with blue banners with messages in Trini dialect to get the attention of those who passed by.

One flyer read, “Keep control of yuh sugar,” while another said, “make exercise a big ting.”

But the biggest poster had the most important message the company’s theme, ‘Diabetes a family concern.’

Ibrahim said, “A lot of people believe that it’s a normal thing to have high or elevate blood glucose levels, our goal really is to educate the population that living with abnormally high sugar levels is not a good thing.”

According to 2018 World Life Expectancy data, Trinidad and Tobago was third in the number of deaths caused by diabetes in the world. In 2019 the Ministry of Health estimated that the disease affects about 14.5 per cent of the population with about 88-90 per cent of patients having Type 2 diabetes.

There was a growing concern that the average diabetes age was declining with more and more younger people testing positive for Type 2 diabetes.

It’s for this reason, Ibrahim said Tatil’s goal is to work with the Ministry of Health to help accomplish the Ministry’s 25/25 vision to reduce diabetes by 25 per cent by 2025.

“It’s really to motivate families, motivate communities and motivate individuals to one become aware, be conscious of the disease and in fact, those that do have the disease how they can change their lifestyle, how they can take small step towards correcting and improving themselves coming out of that disease hopefully one day,” he said.

But even with their own theme, Tatil Managing Director recognised the significance of the global message.

This year’s World Diabetes Day theme – ‘Nurses make the difference’, focuses on promoting the role of nurses in the prevention and management of diabetes.

Ibrahim said the campaign was timely and appropriate especially because of everything nurses endured during the pandemic.

“On behalf of Tatil and Tatil Life and the entire ANSA McAL Group we recognise nurses as a key pivotal role in combatting this disease and supporting our lifestyles,” he said.

“We love you guys, we need you guys,” he added.