EDUCATION! EDUCATION! EDUCATION! The key to diabetes management
Education is the driving force to achieve proper management of diabetes. Holistic education for patient understanding is so critical for success and for improving outcomes for people with diabetes and medical professionals must provide diabetes education for people at all levels, including those with low levels of literacy.
We need to help people with diabetes understand their condition fully and be motivated to take care of themselves willingly. The North American and Caribbean (NAC) Region is prioritizing education and has developed their diabetes education programs to suit all education levels.
What follows are association activity examples from the NAC region:
St. Kitts and Nevis started 2018 with blood glucose screening, testing and providing diabetes education in local schools. Lectures have been organized for medical personnel and the general public, and are ongoing. They will continue this trend with increased education during the year.
The year started on a sad note with the loss of the IDF Young Leader of Diabetes (YLD) from Belize. Following this tragic news, the association took on the need to prioritize care for people with type 1 diabetes, particularly through professional counselling. Starting in April, Belize is working with the World Diabetes Foundation on a new project entitled “Belize National Diabetes Self-Care Programme”.
For Guyana, 2017 was a stellar year. The YLDs led many programs and collaborated with the Ministry of Public Health on lay training for “non-medical personnel” and helped strengthen the Guyana Education Department on behalf of the NCD Commission, the Management Board and the Guyana Diabetic Association. The association collaborated with the Ministry of Public Health and the Georgetown Public Hospital Corporation to provide four CME credits on kidney disease and women. 2018 will see the third consecutive edition of an exciting cricket competition for boys under 17, including education sessions and screenings hosted by YLDs.
Despite recent challenges in the NAC region, we are happy to say we all have one common ground on which we will be emphasizing diabetes education as a key focus for our communities this year.
Glynis Alonzo-Beaton Chair, IDF North America and Caribbean Region