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Improving access to education and care in Cambodia

Four years ago, when Cambodia’s first diabetes surveys were analysed, they surprised everyone: there were twice as many people with diabetes than had been expected – more than 250,000 people. However, the major donors supporting the country’s healthcare sector continue to distribute financial support in unequal shares.

Agents for change: champions in the fight against diabetes in South Africa

The potential threat from type 2 diabetes in  South Africa remains dangerously underestimated and its current prevalence widely unrecognized. Yet the problem is growing at an alarming rate. A series of factors that are particular to the region represent enormous obstacles to an effective response by people with the condition, healthcare providers and wider society. In this article, Noy Pullen identifies some of the key socio-economic, environmental and educational issues affecting rural South Africa.

School as a resource for nutritional education and physical activity

Environmental  factors,  such  as  lifestyle  and  dietary choices, play a key role in determining a child’s body weight. Omnipresent and relentless advertising for low-quality convenience foods together with an over-reliance during leisure hours on television, computers and video games are driving an alarming increase in the incidence of obesity-related non-communicable diseases like type 2 diabetes among young people worldwide.

Diabetes and depression in older women - double the risk, double the burden

In the USA, approximately 24 million people have diabetes; more than half are women, and projections to 2050 suggest that women of all ages will continue to represent more than half of all cases. A growing concern  for  women with diabetes is the increased risk to many of developing major depression. The results from a recent meta-analysis of 42 studies showed that women with diabetes have a higher prevalence of depression (28%) than men with diabetes (18%).

Preventing obesity in women of all ages - a public health priority

Most developed countries and a growing number of low- to middle-income countries have seen an increase in the prevalence of overweight and obesity, and the trend is accelerating. Obesity represents a major public health issue in women due to its association with increased insensitivity to insulin, negative implications for reproductive health, including polycystic ovary syndrome and infertility, higher obstetric risks, gestational diabetes, type 2 diabetes, and cardiovascular disease.

The Sugarman - a simple interactive model for diabetes education

Registered nurse and diabetes educator, Michael Porter, first presented the Sugarman project at a hospital in South Australia and has since used it at events around the country. His aim was to tackle the serious and growing problem of diabetes in the Indigenous population by devising a way to provide diabetes education to adults and children in an enjoyable and interactive way. The Sugarman takes the form of an outline of a body on a large piece of canvas. Participants in the Sugarman sessions carry out activities to learn about glucose metabolism and aspects of the management of diabetes.

Hearing impairment - an under-recognized complication of diabetes?

Diabetes-related sensorineural hearing impairment affects people’s ability to hear and understand sounds. Although evidence from as early as the mid-19th century linked diabetes with hearing loss, a degree of controversy has surrounded this association. However, recent research findings suggest that impaired hearing is not only very common among older and middle-aged people with diabetes but affects young people with diabetes to a greater degree than those without the condition.

The importance of a proactive response to a diagnosis of type 2 diabetes

People  with  diabetes  face  a  range  of challenges. Having the condition affects all areas of life; a number of psychological and emotional factors are involved. Recently, one of the authors of this article, Robin Wynyard, was diagnosed with type 2 diabetes. The shock of being diagnosed provoked in him and his partner, Sue Shea, negative feelings that included fear, anxiety and uncertainty – a common emotional response which often goes unreported in the related literature.

The IDF framework for diabetes education - current status and future prospects

The type 2 diabetes epidemic is having a growing impact on individuals, communities, healthcare systems and national economies. There are an estimated 246 million people worldwide diagnosed with some form of diabetes; it is estimated that, by 2025, this number will grow to 380 million. In developing regions, the growth rate of diabetes is 70%, which is greater than that in other parts of the world.

Diabetes and visual impairment - identifying needs, ensuring full accessibility

Many people with diabetes live with some form of visual impairment due to a variety of possible causes. Visual impairment due to diabetic retinopathy is a long-term complication of the condition. Diabetes also raises the risk for visual impairment due to cataracts, glaucoma and stroke. Age-related macular degeneration is not caused by diabetes, but like type 2diabetes, it occurs more frequently as people age, and many people have both.

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