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SAIPAN, Northern Mariana Islands (March 2, 2002 – Radio Australia)---Medical authorities in the Commonwealth of the Northern Marianas have established a blood testing unit on Saipan’s main beach, in a bid to detect diabetes cases.

The program, named the "Beach-Path Initiative," is designed to identify the estimated 30 percent of CNMI’s Chamorro and Carolinian population affected by diabetes.

Mobile unit staff members are asking people to take a blood test while out for an evening stroll.

The CNMI’s medical director for public health, Dr. Richard Brostrom, says the initiative is just one part of CNMI’s diabetes outreach programs.

"We’re going to the stores, particularly after ‘pay-day Fridays,’ when the government pays, to do a screening at some of the grocery stores.

"We’ve actually gone to some of the government buildings, different departments in the government to actually initiate government screenings with people . . . including the legislators," he said.

For additional reports from Radio Australia, go to PACIFIC ISLANDS REPORT News/Information Links: Radio/TV News/Radio Australia.

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