Commemorating Diabetes Day 2020 during the COVID 19 pandemic | Daily News

Commemorating Diabetes Day 2020 during the COVID 19 pandemic

The World Diabetes Day falls on the 14th of November annually. Numerous activities are carried out globally to highlight the importance of diabetes prevention.

Diabetes is a serious threat to global health that respects neither socioeconomic status nor national boundaries. People living with diabetes are at risk of developing a number of serious and life-threatening complications, such as retinopathy, nephropathy and neuropathy as well as premature cardiovascular disease leading to an increased mortality and morbidity, need for medical care and a reduced quality of life.

Globally, diabetes is among the top 10 causes of death with the estimated prevalence rising from 151 million in 2000 to 463 million today.

In Sri Lanka diabetes was shown to be affecting 10.3% of Sri Lankan adults and we believe that this has increased over 15% by now. Recent studies in urban areas like Colombo has shown diabetes to affect more than one in five adults.

“In this year the importance of diabetes has further increased with the COVID pandemic as people with diabetes has been shown to be more prone to COVID related complications,” said Vidya Jyothi Dr.Prasad Katulanda, MBBS, MD, FRCP (Lon), FCCP, FACE, DPhil (oxon), Senior Lecturer in Medicine, University of Colombo and Consultant Endocrinologist and Diabetologist, National Hospital of Sri Lanka.

To coincide with this worldwide event, the Sri Lanka Diabetes Federation, Sri Lanka College of Endocrinologists, Diabetes Endocrine and Cardio-Renal Trust (DECRT), Sri Lanka Diabetes and Cardiovascular Initiative, the Lions International and the NCD Bureau of the Ministry of Health is planning to organize a series of activities to draw the attention of public on the prevention of diabetes and its complications.

Over the last 10 years or more the Diabetes Federation, Sri Lanka College of Endocrinologists, Sri Lanka Diabetes and Cardiovascular Initiative and the Diabetes Research Unit of the Faculty of Medicine, University of Colombo together with the NCD Bureau of the Ministry of Health used to annually organize a series of campaigns and activities to educate and draw the attention of public on the prevention of diabetes.

During the past decade or more we have successfully organized various programmes and campaigns including the “Diabetes Walk” to commemorate the World Diabetes Day, increasing community awareness and encouraging health improvement. While the need to carry out activities for World Diabetes this year is very important, we face many challenges to organize such activities in the usual manner due to the limitations posed by the COVID epidemic.

Therefore, we have decided to organize several activities related to World Diabetes Day in a different to previous years to minimize the risk of disease spread from public gathering but to maximize reach to the general public.

The global theme of the World Diabetes Day 2020 is the Nurse and Diabetes, aiming to raise awareness around the crucial role that nurses play in supporting people living with diabetes. However, the importance of diabetes and obesity during the current global pandemic of COVID has become very important we have decided to modify this theme as preventing and staying safe with Diabetes in Obesity the role of Nurse and Education.

We are making preparations to mark this day with a public webinar, series of newspaper articles, radio and TV programmes and education using social media. We also plan to increase diabetes screening using both private and public health institutions and laboratories.

The World Diabetes Day 2020 program is organized in collaboration with the College of Endocrinologists, Sri Lanka Diabetes Foundation, Ministry of Health and International Lions Club to get maximum impact on reaching the general public.

Objectives of Diabetes Day Program 2020:

• Raising awareness of diabetes among the general public.

• To highlight the importance of this health problem and the need for effective prevention actions by the government and policy makers.

• To encourage screening for early detection of diabetes.

• To highlight the importance of nurses, educators in detecting and managing diabetes.

• To educate on healthy lifestyles especially on healthy eating, physical exercise to prevent diabetes.

• To educate the public on the relationship of COVID 19 and diabetes and how to stay safe during the pandemic.

• To get the international collaboration with other similar events commemorating Global Diabetes Day.

It is very important to learn about how to manage chronic diseases in pandemics like the COVID 19 pandemic. Accordingly, all programs for this year have been designed to address this need. We hope that the general public will take maximum use of this program to update their knowledge on diabetes and related non communicable diseases.