Diabetes in Society


Patient 13 – taking the quest to cure type 1 diabetes to the big screen

Award-winning documentary filmmaker, Lisa Hepner, diagnosed with type 1 diabetes more than 20 years ago, is not one to shy away from a challenge. Initiating and realizing her latest project has provided her with a big one: to reach as many people as possible with a production that will engage and entertain, and raise awareness about diabetes. Patient 13 follows the 30-year quest for a cure for type 1 diabetes. And, as they say in the movies, ‘this time it’s personal’! Here, Lisa tells the story behind Patient 13.

Older people living with diabetes in India – in their own words

I was admitted under Dr Anil Bhoraskar in a critical condition. My blood sugar level was low, I was dehydrated and did not know where I was or what day it was. I later learned that mine was a case of hyperosmolar non-ketotic coma. I was given urgent treatment at the SL Raheja Fortis Hospital in Mumbai. The doctors brought me out of coma and I recovered completely and was discharged after eight days.

Strong at heart – Ali Ibrahim from Maldives in his own words

Ali Ibrahim was diagnosed with type 2 diabetes in 2010 and became a member of the Diabetes Society of Maldives shortly afterwards. Since then, he has become increasingly active and competent in the management of his own diabetes and a fine role model for other people with the condition.

Multi-ability alert dogs for people with diabetes and visual impairment

Guide Dogs in the UK was established in Wallasey, near Liverpool, in 1931. Since then, many thousands of blind people have benefited from having a guide dog. Recent research into the training of people who are visually impaired has shown that around 30% of people who train with a dog have some form of additional disability. For many, this can be a co-morbid condition like diabetes. Lee Stanway reports on progress towards the provision of multi-ability alert dogs to protect the health and wellbeing of people with diabetes.

Building capacity for care and prevention in Malawi

A impromptu meeting of people with diabetes at the Queen Elizabeth Central Hospital in the country’s capital, Blantyre, generated the impetus to establish the Diabetes Association of Malawi. The author of this report was among those founding voices to call upon other people with diabetes to come together to form an organization that would advocate for the health rights of people with the disease.

Haiti fights for a brighter future

The devastating earthquake that struck Haiti on 12 January 2010 killed over 200,000 people and left more than 1.5 million homeless. Two years later, more than half a million people still live in tents in relief camps and 50% of the rubble is yet to be removed. The earthquake exposed infrastructural weaknesses and institutional shortcomings. Haiti is struggling with reconstruction efforts that, according to the authors of this report, have been hampered by political paralysis and the lack of coordination in international aid.

Civil society facing down the diabetes emergency in Mali

Santé Diabète emerged in response to a double emergency: the lack of access to care for people with diabetes in Africa and the lack of recognition on the part of the development actors that this is even a problem. Santé Diabète’s overarching objective is to improve the prevention and management of diabetes in Africa. Founded in 2001, it was the first international development-focused NGO to concentrate on the fight against diabetes.

Care, education, protection – the Associação Protectora dos Diabéticos de Portugal goes from strength to strength

The portuguese diabetes Association is the world’s oldest diabetes association and a senior member Association of the International diabetes federation. From the moment it was founded, early in the 20th century, to the present day, the Associação has been driven by a single overarching objective: to improve the quality of life of people with diabetes. Involved nationally in diabetes advocacy and the provision of education, as well as the delivery of care, Apdp has become a key player in the healthcare arena in portugal and its activities reach many thousands of people with diabetes.

The World Diabetes Congress in Dubai: a personal view

Dubai’s promotional tagline, ‘the meeting place of the world’, rang true last December, when more than 15,000 participants gathered there for the World Congress, making it the most successful Congress ever organized by IDF – and not only in terms of the number of people attending: net revenues from Dubai broke all records. But these impressive figures tell only a part of the story of an historic event that capped a stellar year for diabetes. In this report, Sir Michael Hirst offers his unique view, as both IDF President Elect and a person affected by diabetes, of the Dubai Congress.

Insulin for Life – building capacity, saving lives

Insulin is a life-sustaining medication, designated an essential drug by the World Health Organization. Although it should be universally available to everyone who requires it for survival, in many countries access to insulin is not secure – resulting in life-threatening complications for large numbers of children and adults with diabetes worldwide. Indeed, most people in most countries of the world who need life-saving insulin cannot obtain it.