World Diabetes Day 2021

The World Diabetes Day (WDD) 2021 tagged: Access to Diabetes Care came with a lot of significance. November 14th, 2021 marked the 100th anniversary of the discovery of insulin, an important medication in the treatment of diabetes.

The 10th atlas of the International Diabetes Federation (IDF) projects that 537 million adults globally now live with diabetes. This represents a 16 percent increase from previous estimates in 2019. With diabetes prevalence now at 10.5 percent, almost half (44.7 percent) of adults living with diabetes have not been diagnosed. Consequently, inadequate and late diagnoses results in delayed treatment, reduced access to diabetes care and increasing number of people with uncontrolled blood sugar levels. If current trends continue, the IDF projects that by 2045, 783 million (1 in 8) adults will be living with diabetes.

In view of the of gross inadequacy of diagnoses and consequent global surge in the number of people with undiagnosed diabetes, complications from diabetes are rapidly increasing as diabetes remains the second commonest cause of amputations globally.

In a bid to combat this global predicament, Health Compass Initiative joined other organizations around the world to mark the World Diabetes Day 2021 by reflecting on the current state of diabetes care while reinforcing our efforts geared towards prevention and early diagnosis of diabetes.

In partnership with the Diabetes Association of Nigeria (DAN), we kicked off the WDD commemoration with a 30 day social media campaign which was used to educate our online community about diabetes. For each day within the 30 days prior to November 14th, unique facts about diabetes prevention, detection and control were shared with our online audience using our social media platforms.

We explored the traditional broadcast media in Uyo including Inspiration FM, Comfort FM, AKBC TV and UNIUYO FM where we hosted interactive talk shows about diabetes prevention and control. Every appearance on these media platforms granted us a unique opportunity to engage and educate a huge population of residents in Akwa Ibom State who joined the conversation and had their questions answered by experienced panelists.

On Saturday, 13th November, 2021, we flagged off our physical campaign at Akpan Andem market; a market that hosts thousands of traders and visitors daily. This location proved strategic as it gathered people from all walks of life and diverse background. We carried out a market rally and road walk where we educated the market community about diabetes.

We returned to the market on Thursday, 18th November, 2021 for the screening campaign and kicked off the exercise with a brief health talk about diabetes. Thereafter, our team of volunteers proceeded to carry out free screening tests for diabetes and its risk factors – these included random blood sugar, blood pressure, body mass index and waist circumference. Consultation and referral services were carried by doctors from the department of endocrinology at the University of Uyo Teaching Hospital free of cost. Hundreds of traders and visitors to the market were reached with these free screening tests, several were connected to quality care and many will be followed up on to ensure optimal health and better lives.

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