Key questions about diabetes education in Guatemala – for whom, what kind and how to provide it?

The Guatemalan Ministry of Public Health puts the prevalence of diabetes in urban areas of the country at around 8%.Diabetes complications have become a primary cause of death and disability and an increasing burden to individuals, families, society in general and the economy of the country. Although guidelines and curricula content exist regarding diabetes education for healthcare professionals, before establishing a local educational programme, knowledge of the particular needs and characteristics of each specific setting is vital in order to take the right decisions to engender optimum learning and development. This was the motivation behind a diagnostic study of 89 healthcare professionals – 39 medical and 50 non-medical – working with people affected by diabetes in and around Guatemala City and in provincial centres around the country. Fabiola Prado de Nitsch describes the study and some of its results and reaches some important conclusions regarding professional diabetes education throughout Guatemala.