World Diabetes Day: Kill the dreaded killer by creating ‘access to diabetes education’
Whenever we hear the term “Diabetes,” it not only hits our ears but certainly creates a quake in our body and mind. It’s a global health issue and one of the leading causes of morbidity and mortality. The incidence of diabetes is increasing rapidly among all age groups, shockingly even in children, so much so that there’s a 3% increase in the death rate due to diabetes between 2000-2019.
This is attributable to the newer lifestyle changes, ignorance, and neglecting the strength of this human enemy. Diabetes affects almost every system of the body, ultimately causing end-organ damage. The complications could be heart attack & heart failure, kidney failure, blindness, and gangrene of limbs leading to amputation.
Most of the patients follow all the prescribed measures to control it. Then, why is the incidence rising? Understandably, the conventional approach to dealing with the disease is insufficient to control the increasing incidence.
Hence, the population needs to be educated for prevention, control, treatment, and reduction of complications of this disease. Here comes the importance of TPE (Therapeutic Patient Education), where all the stakeholders: the patients, patient’s family members, NGOs, media, social networks, technological institutions, policymakers, healthcare staff at various levels, and doctors need to be proactive and have to be on the same page.
We can defeat this enemy of ours collectively. We must not forget to acknowledge, welcome, and embrace the role of technology in-healthcare here prudently and optimally.
The people should be educated regarding all the aspects of the disease, from the cause to the complications, and take it as a mission to spread the word. The theme of the World Health Organization (WHO) on World Diabetes Day, 14th November 2022, is “Access to Diabetes Education,” which aims at transforming “patients and population” into “knowledgeable patients and population” pertaining to diabetes through continuing education involving all the above stakeholders by raising awareness in every individual about the disease. This education should be accessible to everyone at various levels like city, town, panchayat, and even a village, thereby scaling-up knowledge about diabetes and its care.
To spread awareness among the masses, the discussion should also happen at clubs, coffee tables, schools, and colleges frequently and specifically on this day through seminars, quizzes, webinars, health talk-shows, fancy-dress competitions, theatres, and celebrations. Then only we could check this dreaded disease and the complications involving other systems and decrease the death rate because of it.
Let us protect our tomorrow. Let us take an oath to kill the dreaded killer by creating ” Access to Diabetes Education.”
The author is a senior consultant Cardio-Thoracic & Vascular Surgeon (Adult & Paediatric), and a visiting consultant to National Heart Institute, New Delhi
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