Empowerment and self-management

English

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.

Setting the standards in England

In England we are currently increasing public spending on health faster than any major country in Europe. But, along with investing more, we need to do things differently. We need to look more radically at how health services are provided within a network of health and social care, shifting the balance between what we do in hospitals and what we do elsewhere. These are the principles that we will apply to modernizing diabetes treatment and that will underpin the ongoing work of the National Service Frameworks (NSF).

Complementary therapies

'Complementary therapies' have been in use for thousands of years. Today they are increasingly popular with the general public and many health professionals, especially nurses and general practitioners. Despite the wide availability of conventional medications, over 50% of the populations of most Western countries use complementary therapies. This figure may be even higher in other cultures. Many complementary therapies can be used by people with diabetes, but there are associated risks that need to be considered.

Listen to a voice

Listen to the voice of a young girl Lonnie, who was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes at 16. Imagine that she is deeply involved in the social security system. She lives with her mother and two siblings in a working class part of a small town. She is at a special school for problematic youth, and her carers are seriously concerned about how she is going to manager her diabetes.

Combined study reveals gaps in diabetes therapy

Care of people with diabetes is in need of improvement. Patients are often left in the dark about their condition and many receive false or unnecessary medication. It has been shown in a recent German study, performed by the Centre for Sociopolitics at the University of Bremen, together with the medical insurance company, Gmünder Ersatzkasse (GEK), that too few people with diabetes are being subscribed much needed medication, too many are taking the wrong type of medication and many are inadequately informed about sensible diet and self-management techniques.

Self-care: an important and cost-effective investment

The elevated cost of diabetes can be seen as the result of all previous failures of treatment. As illustrated in this article, treating diabetes complications is far more expensive than taking preventative measures. Future cost cutting, therefore, can only be achieved by improving the level of care, especially in the field of self-management. People with diabetes must be given the means to do this, which can only be attained by future investment.

Helping people with diabetes: a rewarding task for the PUMCH Diabetes Education Centre in China

Diabetes has ‘arrived’ in China. This condition was relatively rare among the Chinese population until 20 years ago. As life has become more and more westernized and industrial, the prevalence of diabetes has increased rapidly. The average prevalence rate has increased from just under 1 percent in 1980 to as high as nearly 7 percent in some areas in 1996. Chinese health resources are struggling to keep up with this explosion. However, the Peking Union Medical College Hospital (PUMCH) have an education programme which is producing positive outcomes.

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