Member Association spotlight on Denmark

In this quarter's IDF Newsletter, we put the spotlight on the EU Presidency country of Denmark and the Danish Diabetes Association (DDA). We asked Henrik Nedergaard, CEO of DDA, how the UN High Level Summit and the work of the DDA have impacted on national diabetes awareness.

How has the impact of the UN High Level Summit been felt in Denmark?
As a follow-up to the UN High Level Summit, the Danish Diabetes Association (DDA) and OECD Paris are preparing the European Diabetes Leadership Forum (EDLF) on April 25-26. The Forum is held under the auspices of the Danish Presidency of the European Council of Ministers and will include key speeches by the Danish Prime Minister, Danish Health Minister, head of the OECD and a keynote address by Kofi Annan.

The aim of the event is to be a milestone on the path toward effective long-term chronic disease treatment and diabetes care. The Danish Ministry of Health and the presidency is aware of the Political Declaration on the Prevention and Control of Non-Communicable Diseases and view it as a milestone towards the Forum.

Together with MEP Christel Schaldemose the DDA also hosted an event in the European Parliament during which the London School of Economics released their policy recommendation on Reducing the Burden of Diabetes in Europe. This study should put the focus firmly on NCDs and post-Summit activities in Europe.

The impact of the UN Summit has also been seen in the way the Danish Government reallocates and organizes their work e.g. they have created a cross ministerial working group on NCDs.

In the wake of the Summit, the Danish Development unit (DANIDA) has given support to two NCD projects: one in Uganda and one in Tanzania. The projects are in the frame of the Danish NCD Alliance and sister organisations in Uganda and Tanzania. The Danish NCD Alliance consists of the DDA, the Danish Heart Foundation and the Danish Cancer Society.

What are your key objectives for 2012? How has the Danish presidency’s focus on health innovation and chronic disease impacted you so far?
We have several objectives for 2012, but in relation to NCDs we hope that a result of the EDLF will be an outcomes document that can act as a reference document for all stakeholders in bringing about a long-term transformation in diabetes and chronic disease management.

The Danish presidency’s focus on health innovation and chronic disease means that we will be part of the e-health week focusing on innovation in the health care sector this May.

In relation to NCDs and our collaboration in Uganda and Tanzania, we hope to support the creation of an NCD Alliance in Tanzania and that the existing NCD Alliance project in Uganda will be further strengthened in terms of lobbying, awareness and membership recruitment activities.

How does being a member of IDF facilitate your work and objectives?
The different toolkits provided by IDF help us related to contacts and lobbying the public and government. Membership of IDF also gives inspiration and discussion on good solutions in diabetes care and NCD involvement.

Can you tell us about one of your successful campaigns from 2011?
We had a type 2 diabetes awareness campaign during the summer of 2011. Our focus was on why we need to take type 2 diabetes seriously and what a person can do to prevent diabetes even if it runs in the family.

Our aim was to:

-Create awareness  - that you can be genetically predisposed to developing type 2 diabetes
-Explain that ”sukkersyge” (sugar sickness) and ”diabetes”  is the same
-Motivate people to change their lifestyle through healthy food and physical activity

Our target groups included people with little or no education, lacking knowledge about what healthy and unhealthy food actually contains and people with a genetic predisposition to type 2-diabetes.

Using a targeted media campaign which comprised of television spots, GSM messaging and quizzes, social media sites and campaigns in food stores, we managed the following results:

-10.300 unique visitors to the campaign website (our target was 5.000) 
-47% increase in unique visitors at Diabetes.dk from August 2010 to August 2011
-Approximately 10.000 participants in the SMS/text-message competition (target was 5.000)
-90% campaign recognition of the DDA amongst a test group of 700 Danes.