04/07/2016, 18.12
INDIA
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Uttar Pradesh: a "mission of mercy " against diabetes

by Nirmala Carvalho

Today is World Health Day 2016. As part of the activities dedicated to the Year of Mercy, Franciscan Sisters have launched an outreach programme in ten villages in Uttar Pradesh and Uttarkhand. Meetings will be organised to offer free blood pressure and sugar level tests, with women and children as the main target groups.

Mumbai (AsiaNews) – The Franciscan Sisters of Our Lady of Grace in the Diocese of Meerut in Uttar Pradesh have organised the ‘83 FSLG Karuna Mission’, a group of volunteers whose goal is to address health issues related to diabetes in rural villages in the states of Uttar Pradesh and Uttarkhand.

On World Health Day 2016, which falls today and is dedicated this year to the fight against diabetes, AsiaNews met one of the volunteers, Sister Liza Ignatius FSLG, who spoke about their initiative devoted to ‘Mercy’, which was organised during this Jubilee Year.

Sister Liza is a missionary, and a graduate in Medicine. ‘Karuna’ in the local language means mercy, she explained. The number 83 refers to 1983, the year when the Franciscan volunteers graduated, and FSLG is the acronym of the Franciscan Sisters of Our Lady of Grace.

Speaking about diabetes, she lamented that the disease “is rapidly spreading in rural areas, especially among women and children,” who are the main beneficiaries of the Sisters’ mission.

"In this Year of Mercy, we launched the programme in ten villages. We chose certain places to organise free monthly meetings to measure blood pressure and sugar level. Doctors and nurses will also offer free consultation."

World Health Day was established in 1950 by the World Health Organisation to draw attention to the main medical problems in the world.

Each year, governments and non-profit groups organise events related to public health issues in order to raise awareness of the need for medical attention, and promote healthy lifestyles and preventive therapies.

The Franciscan Sisters’ first meeting will be held on 25 April for children. In the meantime, this coming Sunday (9 April), a statue of Mercy will arrive for a five-day stay in the Franciscan Sisters’ parish in Sardhana, as part of a pilgrimage that will take it to all the parishes in the diocese.

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