Empowerment and self-management


Empowerment and how it can be implemented: the role of diabetes associations

The definitions of empowerment are many but less varied. They all tend to refer to a ‘process’. In this article, Mr Bjørnar Allgot, Norway, briefly analyses the concept of empowerment and gives guidelines as to how this process can be achieved. Finally, as IDF Vice President, Mr Allgot sees the need for the International Diabetes Federation to create an effective tool for evaluating empowerment which can be used by member associations around the world.

German website: a stamp of quality

In the face of rising diabetes prevalence in Germany, empowerment of people with diabetes and access to information is especially needed for the prevention of the condition itself, as well as its complications. To this end, a cooperative effort between the National Ministry of Health, the German Diabetes Research Institute and the two national diabetes organizations, Deutsche Diabetes-Gesellschaft (DDG) and the Deutsche Diabetes Union (DDU), has created a new website offering up-to-date and quality assured information for people with diabetes and healthcare professionals alike.

Canadian Diabetes Association's best information provider

There are numerous benefits to accessing diabetes information on the internet. It provides the latest scientific information and guidelines, allowing users to overcome geographic barriers. The information is relatively inexpensive and easy to find and is available seven days a week, 24 hours a day. Here are two examples of websites from different corners of the globe.

Children reaching children: the Diabetic Counsellors in Training

The success of the Diabetic Counsellors in Training (CiTs) programme has not only been recognized locally but also internationally. The counsellors presented their programme at last year’s Pan Africa Congress held in Johannesburg and again at the 17th IDF Congress in Mexico City. At both congresses, their presentation received standing ovation. What is this revolutionary and dynamic movement out of Johannesburg, South Africa?

Complementing the medical team

The ‘Fundación Diabetes Juvenil de Chile’, the Chilean Juvenile Diabetes Foundation, a non-profit institution, was founded in 1988 by a group of parents of children with diabetes. The principal objective of the institution is to help all people using insulin by teaching modern techniques, observing treatment and promoting self-monitoring. The Foundation provides additional support to the medical team responsible for treating people with diabetes. This generally refers to the area of education.

A diabetes voice from Barbados

“My name is Olivia Bayne. I am from the island of Barbados located in the West Indies. I am like the average teenager but with one vital difference. I have had Type 1 diabetes since I was eight years old…”

Seeing it right: accessible information for the visually impaired

Failure to provide accessible information for blind and partially sighted people is both unacceptable and unnecessary. It is unacceptable in that it is a denial of a fundamental right to information. It is unnecessary in that it makes no sense on business grounds. Providing information in alternative formats need not be expensive or difficult; large print, audio tape and computer files can be easily provided without specialist equipment.

A challenge of acculturation: the Ethiopian community in Israel

For most Ethiopian immigrants arriving in Israel, diabetes was an unknown illness. However, current studies show that its prevalence is now high in this population. The diagnosis and management of diabetes among Ethiopian immigrants present a real challenge of acculturation. In response to this challenge, a community-based project called Tene Briut was created. Tene Briut promotes culturally-appropriate prevention, detection and management activities, with a major contribution from Ethiopian health professionals and community leaders.

Decades of diabetes

Hazel Davies and Roy Cross have never met, but they have a lot in common: they are both Australian centenarians, masters of long-term diabetes control. This story is a tribute to them and their astonishing achievement in reaching a ripe age with diabetes—and without complications.

Hypoglycaemia at work: unfounded discrimination?

When firefighter Tim Hoy developed Type 1 diabetes he was immediately placed on 'light duties' pending a medical dismissal. Tim successfully appealed against the decision, but the assumption that the need for self-treatment with insulin, with its associated risk of hypoglycaemia (low blood sugar levels), poses a safety risk in the workplace is a recurrent problem. The Edinburgh-based study, funded by Diabetes UK, gathered data from over 243 people with diabetes.