PEARL, MS (WLBT) - The state's fight against diabetes received a big boost from the nation's top retailer Monday morning. The Mississippi Rural Health Association received a $125,000 grant from the Walmart Foundation's Mississippi State Giving Program.
A special check presentation was held at the Walmart Supercenter in Pearl. The money will be used to raise awareness and ultimately prevent Type 2 Diabetes in the state.
According to the Mississippi Department of Health, the Magnolia State has the second highest rate of diabetes in the country at 11.3 percent. In 2008, 245,000 adults were estimated to be afflicted with the disease.
"Type 2 Diabetes is a scourge to our residents," MRHA president Alan Barefield said. "It's becoming more-and-more prevalent and we're seeing it in younger-and-younger populations."
Representatives from MRHA, the Walmart Foundation and the state Department of Health were hand for the presentation. All are taking an initiative to control Diabetes, which according to the Centers for Disease Control cost the state $1.77 billion dollars in 2006.
"An effort such as this to try to prevent diabetes, and try to make citizens aware of the dangers of diabetes, and what healthy living and what healthy lifestyles can do is extremely important," Barefield said.
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