Belgium/Uruguay, 9 April 2008
International Diabetes Federation to Provide Diabetes Education Courses to Diabetes Educators in Latin America
The International Diabetes Federation (IDF) South and Central America (SACA), which includes the Hispanic Caribbean, has begun providing diabetes education courses for educators throughout Latin America to increase knowledge and improve care for people with diabetes in the region
The goal is to train future diabetes educators and improve the knowledge of current educators by teaching the latest guidelines and methods of care. “In 2006, a survey was carried out in the SACA region to identify the most urgent needs related to diabetes. The results indicated that it was essential to educate at all levels, in order to provide knowledge to people with diabetes and their families, increase awareness on diabetes and involve governments in tackling the diabetes epidemic,” said Esc. Susana Feria de Campanella, Chair of the SACA Region, International Diabetes Federation. “This will be made possible by implementing regional and national programmes, the latter through diabetes associations in each country”. Through these courses, the IDF-SACA Region aims to change the traditional therapeutic approach to the management of diabetes and promote a more aggressive, preventive and self-managed approach. The Region also hopes to establish diabetes education as an essential pillar in the healthcare of people with diabetes and their families.
The diabetes education courses are intended to empower health professionals to produce a positive impact in the prevention, management, and education of diabetes. The goal is also to minimize the development of chronic diabetes complications, as well as supply the health professional with advanced knowledge in clinical diabetology, and the skills required to develop educative processes for people with diabetes.
The first SACA diabetes educators meeting took place in Brasilia, June 1-3 2006, with the financial and logistic support of the Juvenile Diabetes Association (AJD), the Ministry of Public Health and industry. Sixty educators from the region worked under the coordination of the SACA Regional Working Group on Diabetes Education, using the IDF Guidelines on Diabetes Education, and standardizing and adapting them to the region. The Working Group is coordinated by Mrs. Betty Rodriguez, MSN, CDE, Public Health Advisor and Professor Rosario García. The meeting saw the creation of the Latin-American Network of Diabetes Educators (RELAD). Following the meeting, each participant continued the work in their respective countries in order to achieve the objective of offering diabetes education courses in the entire SACA region.
The courses began last November in Uruguay during World Diabetes Day, and they will continue in May 2008 in Brazil and Argentina. The courses address a wide variety of content, ranging from the scale of the diabetes problem to models, methods and educational techniques. They also include the diagnosis, classification and therapeutic aspects of diabetes. “Everything will be developed under participatory and interactive methods, where educators will learn by thinking, doing and taking decisions. To achieve this, the courses will be complemented by case discussions and bibliographies, demonstrative workshops and other participative techniques,” said Prof. Garcia.
Rodríguez, who conducts the education courses, said, “Beforehand we need to establish the educator’s role and the minimum competence, knowledge, abilities, skills and attitudes needed to offer optimal diabetes care and education, as well as the content of the courses in accordance with the different levels: basic, medium or advanced.”
According to the International Diabetes Federation´s Diabetes Atlas, it is estimated that there are 16.2 million people with diabetes in the SACA region, or 6% of the adult population. In the next 18 years, the number of people with diabetes is expected to rise dramatically to 32.7 million.
“The progression of the disease is already a threat to the world, hence one of the objectives of the International Diabetes Federation SACA Region is to work towards empowering diabetes educators, so that they can reach people with diabetes with pedagogical tools and help them to understand the disease and the importance of managing it correctly,” said Esc. Feria de Campanella. “With diabetes education, we can ensure that those diagnosed accept their diabetes, adhere to treatments, and self-manage their condition, thereby preventing complications, and the extra costs that these bring to themselves, their families and the community.”
“Health professionals should be empowered so that they can, with their knowledge and conviction, effectively fulfill the wishes, attitudes and needs of people with diabetes. Enabling people with diabetes to accept and meet their obligations and responsibilities is the best way that they can be assisted,” she added.
For interviews with the International Diabetes Federation, please contact Kerrita McClaughlyn, Media Relations, Email: firstname.lastname@example.org  Tel: +32-2-543-1639 or Mobile: +32-487-530625. For information on the International Diabetes Federation SACA Region, Diabetes Education Courses for Educators and sponsoring the courses please contact Esc. Susana Feria de Campanella, Email email@example.com , Tel +598 2 7095457.
Note to editors:
The International Diabetes Federation (IDF) is an umbrella organization of over 200 member associations in more than 160 countries, advocating for the 250 million people with diabetes, their families, and their healthcare providers. Its mission is to promote diabetes care, prevention and a cure worldwide. The International Diabetes Federation is an NGO in official relations with the World Health Organization and an associated NGO with the United Nations Department of Public Information. The International Diabetes Federation leads the World Diabetes Day campaign. Additional information is available at www.idf.org . The International Diabetes Federation (IDF) South and Central America (SACA) region represents 37 IDF member associations in 21 countries. Its mission is to support the member associations to improve the lives of people with diabetes. The IDF-SACA coordinates activities with international organizations like the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO), World Health Organization (WHO) and the Diabetes American Declaration (DOTA). For more information visit www.idf.org/saca .