Diabetes in Society


Awareness in action - a look back at World Diabetes Day 2012

From Cairo to Copenhagen, Delhi to Doha, Miami to Melbourne the world once again united on 14 November 2012 to raise awareness of the ever-increasing threat posed by the diabetes epidemic in every part of the world, and help to bring about improvements to the 371 million people currently affected by diabetes.

Tracking the global epidemic - new estimates from the IDF Diabetes Atlas Update for 2012

There is no country in the world that does not bear some burden from diabetes. The IDF Diabetes Atlas Update for 2012 confirms that cases are increasing everywhere and at an alarming pace. Today, there are an estimated 371 million adults living with diabetes. To put this number into perspective: if all the people with diabetes formed a country, it would be the third most populous country after China and India. Four out of five of the people live in low- and middle-income countries, where health systems are struggling to keep pace with the rising burden of non-communicable disease.

A ‘Parma Campaign’ for Africa – a 42,000 km initiative against ketoacidosis

In 2007, Diabetes Voice reported on a community awareness campaign to promote early recognition of the symptoms of type 1 diabetes in children and, above all, prevent the appearance of ketoacidosis. That initiative, based in Parma, Italy, was successful and at a relatively low cost, which led other groups to repeat the experience in in Europe, North America and Australia. But no-one had tried to set one up in a developing country – until the authors packed the necessary supplies into lorries and sent the campaign overland to 32 African countries.

The meteoric rise and rise of #gbdoc - a personal experience of what social media can do for peer support

From tiny acorns mighty acorns grow. In Paul Buchanan’s case, that tiny acorn was the idea to create an online ‘agora’ for people with diabetes – a meeting place where ideas and experiences could be exchanged freely and responsibly, and a focal point for a nascent peer support network. Paul’s vision is a network of online communities worldwide united by diabetes through social media. The key difference between that vision and the mighty oak is the time they take to grow.

China’s 3C Study – the people behind the numbers

Type 1 diabetes is a complex and challenging disease due to its physiological, behavioural and psychosocial characteristics. Diabetes care and education is life-long and people who are affected must adapt as they age. In 2011, IDF launched the 3C Study – Coverage, Cost and Care of type 1 diabetes, in collaboration with the Chinese Diabetes Society, in order to understand better how this disease affects people living in the Beijing and Shantou areas.

A medical student with type 1 diabetes in Mali

Bakary Coulibaly was born in 1984 in Mogola, a rural region of Mali. His father, who died a year after Bakary’s birth, was a farmer and his mother, a life-long homebuilder, who now lives in Touba in the southwest of the country. Despite facing many daunting socioeconomic challenges, Bakary continues to cover ground on the way to achieving his ambition: to become an expert in all aspects of diabetes and share his knowledge to the benefit of others. In this frank and courageous account, he describes his journey with diabetes.

Diabetes and elderly people in the Caribbean

With life expectancy in the Caribbean up from an average of 50 years in the 1950s to today’s 75 years (1), the Caribbean has one of the fastest-growing ageing populations.(2) Alongside this demographic transition, an epidemiological transition has taken place, with the public health burden shifting from communicable diseases including HIV and dengue fever, to non-communicable diseases (NCDs), particularly type 2 diabetes and heart disease.

Out of the office, into the community – micro financing for children with diabetes in Tanzania

In 2005, the International Diabetes Federation (IDF) programme, Life for a Child, began providing insulin, syringes and other essential supplies, including equipment to measure long-term blood glucose (HbAIc) and educational materials, for 146 children with diabetes at the Muhimbili National Hospital, Dar es Salaam, Tanzania. Help was also received from other agencies, as well as from the Tanzanian Government. The impact of these life-saving initiatives on the children and their families has been very positive.

Adolescents living with diabetes – in their own words

Adolescence is a period of dramatic change. The effects of the onset of puberty and the consequent, both emotional and physical, can be dramatic. It is not uncommon for adolescents – and their family members – to feel like their life is a rollercoaster of ups and downs, as their body undergoes dramatic transformations, not all of which are welcome. The transitional period between childhood and adulthood presents a range of specific challenges for young people living with type 1 diabetes and their diabetes healthcare providers.

Fighting for a future and winning against all odds: Suman’s inspiring story

In parts of the world, in many developing countries in particular, marriage prospects for young women with diabetes are hampered by the general societal lack of awareness of the disease and severe economic poverty suffered by the majority of the population. The discriminatory attitudes that are widely held in many countries can condemn a woman with diabetes to a life of social isolation and economic hardship. Structured support from dedicated healthcare providers and peers with diabetes can have a life-changing impact on these women and their future prospects.