Education

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Taking up the struggle to improve care: a journey with diabetes

During a meeting halfway through a 24-month project for the UK National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE), surrounded by well-known health professionals, Barbara Elster was asked her opinion on one of the subjects under discussion. Having expressed her views, she contemplated how she, a person with no formal medical training, had come to be in such esteemed medical company, involved in producing national guidelines on diabetes for the UK Government.

Breastfeeding and diabetes - benefits and special needs

Breastfeeding has numerous advantages for mothers with diabetes and their babies. Nursing mothers have lower insulin requirements and better control of their blood glucose; breastfed babies may have a lower risk of developing diabetes themselves. Alison Stuebe describes these potential benefits and highlights the special needs of breastfeeding mothers with diabetes.

Translating science into practice: the US National Diabetes Education Program

The USA ranks third in the global prevalence of diabetes, preceded only by India and China. About 7% of the population has diabetes. A third of the total number of people with the condition is believed to be undiagnosed and therefore not receiving treatment to reduce the risk of disabling and life-threatening diabetes complications. The economic costs of diabetes are enormous – estimated at 132 billion USD in 2002. The mission of the US National Diabetes Education Program (NDEP) is to reduce diabetes-related illness and death.

Convivencias: a low-cost model for holistic diabetes education

The objective of holiday camps for children and adolescents with diabetes is to create an environment in which they can learn to embrace their condition and its treatment. Achieving and maintaining good blood glucose control is a key aim; the camps provide excellent opportunities for young people to learn and practise diabetes skills and become familiar with the latest techniques.

Reaching for dreams: enjoying sucessful diabetes management through sports

Despite the wealth of evidence to support the health benefits of physical activity in people with diabetes, many people, when diagnosed with type 1 diabetes, decide to refrain from taking part in sports, and some are even advised to do so by their healthcare provider. When Olympic volleyball player, Bas van de Goor, was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes, his lack of diabetes knowledge led him to believe he should retire from organized sport.

Motivating, learning and socializing: summer camps for elderly people with diabetes

A conversation with a 70-year-old woman with diabetes gave an endocrinologist working in Belgrade, Serbia, an interesting idea. The patient expressed her desire to go on holiday but was clearly worried about managing her diabetes away from home – without access to familiar healthcare resources. Teodora Beljic recognized the need for some form of holiday facility for older people with diabetes, and decided to explore the feasibility of recreational and educational programmes.

Educating, supporting, understanding: a challenging role for parents of children with diabetes

Diabetes is a family affair. When a child is diagnosed with diabetes, a wide range of challenges affects parents and siblings. While the role of parents in day-to-day living with diabetes is subject to constant change according to the age of their child, it is always crucial. Families constantly experience their loved-one’s diabetes, in an emotional as well as a practical sense. Eveline van Gulik explores some of the challenges faced by parents of children with diabetes, and describes, from her own experience, the enormous impact on family life.

Delivering diabetes care to people with intellectual disability

Typically, people with learning difficulties due to intellectual disability face a variety of daily challenges, and require continual support from specialized carers. If they are affected by a chronic medical condition, such as diabetes, people with intellectual disability require coordinated support from diabetes-aware carers and informed healthcare providers.

Learning the lessons - preventing type 2 diabetes in Nepal

Diabetes has become a significant public health problem in urban Nepal. Studies carried out by the Nepal Diabetes Association in towns and cities throughout the country have revealed a diabetes prevalence of around 15% among people aged 20 years and above, and 19% among people aged 40 years and above. The Association has identified a number of key issues which continue to exacerbate this epidemic in Nepal.

Addressing inequalities in access through long-term collaboration

Diabetes is a life-long chronic condition. Herein lies one of the major challenges to addressing global inequalities in diabetes care. The costs of insulin and monitoring are often beyond the resources of people with diabetes or their country’s healthcare system. While it is easier to secure temporary price reductions or short-term financial support in the form of donations or grants than it is to find long-term ongoing support, diabetes needs in most countries are not temporary.

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