Seafarers get diet, exercise lowdown

A special Seafarer’s Association
General Meeting, held on Tuesday, 20 July at the Seafarers’ Hall in George
Town, featured several guest speakers and unexpected highlights.

The evening began with a talk from
Dr. Joseph Barefoot, a heart specialist, who addressed the on the dangers of
high cholesterol and lack of exercise.

Touching on everything from diet to
lifestyle, the doctor described in detail what individuals must do in order to
live longer and gave advice about what options people with high cholesterol
have at their disposal in the fight against heart disease.

“Moderate exercise for a half an
hour five times a week should be the goal but you can break up the duration,
with 15 minutes in the morning and 15 in the evening,” he told the audience,
adding that, avoiding animal fat and fried foods was also recommended.

Mr. Barefoot made it clear that
medicine is usually the last alternative looked at in treatment for high
cholesterol, but suggested several different types of drugs that data had shown
to be effective over time and enlightened those on hand about the potential
side effects of different drugs. He joked that the adverse reactions were,
“published mostly for lawyers and not doctors and patients.”

“I have seen more people die of a
heart attack than from the side effects of medication and most of the time,
problems can be reversed by simply coming off the medication or moving to a
lower dose,” he said.

A question and answer session was
also held during the evening and he fielded questions, which included whether
he would be seeing those who have their insurance with CINICO, as private
doctors do not usually accept patients with that provider. However, Mr.
Barefoot was able to inform the audience that this would be the case only in
situations where the patient was referred by the George Town Hospital.

Seafarer’s Association President
Hartman Da Costa urged his fellow Seafarers and their families to take
advantage of a heart specialist being on Island, as it meant that the added
cost of going overseas for treatment could be avoided.

After a vote of thanks by Andrew
Eden, several awards were bestowed on the association’s accountant Jane Panton,
for her dedicated service and efficiency, as well as a gift of appreciation to
the doctor for his visit and remarks.

The evening also had a special
guest in the form of Education Minister Rolston Anglin, who said a scholarship
named after Mrs. Gwen Bush, who helped many seaman get organised for their
journey, would be available to young Caymanians hoping to study navigation,
ship surveying or any other discipline relating to the sea and vessels.

A finished turtle
shell and a fathom of thatch rope made in 1973, as well as a plaque to
commemorate the occasion, were also offered to the Seafarer’s Association by
the minister.