Among diseases, nothing compares to the effect of diabetes on the general health of human beings. It creeps silently and gradually causes complications that — if left untreated — can lead to a complete deterioration of the body.
Every year experts mark the month of November to tackle the problem profoundly and address new ways of limiting the complications before they become inevitable, constantly highlighting the utmost importance of early detection.
November is the month chosen by the international Diabetes Federation and the World Health Organization (WHO) to raise awareness about the cause. World Diabetes Day (WDD), marked officially by the UN since 2006, is on 14 November to coincide with the birthday of Sir Frederick Banting, who co-discovered insulin along with Charles Best in 1922. The whole month of November is marked as the month of Diabetes awareness worldwide.
Egypt marked the occasion in a number of ways, intertwining the efforts of governmental bodies with those of the private sector.
Your senses are most important
To raise awareness of the dangers of diabetes and in order to overcome the developments of this chronic disease, the National Institute of Diabetes and Endocrinology held a discussion session to launch the campaign "Your senses are most important" in the presence of a group of experts, lighting the building in blue shades in conjunction with WDD, under the auspices of the minister of Health.
The campaign, held in cooperation with the Egyptian European Pharmaceutical company, targets the institute s diabetic patients and patients nationwide to raise awareness of the dangers of diabetes and peripheral nerve infections that may cause a lack of feeling in the limbs in the absence of follow-up and a good diagnosis, which in turn leads to suffering from Diabetic foot and exposure to ulcers and wounds.
The campaign encourages the necessity of periodic follow-up, the adoption of a healthy diet, in addition to following the doctor s prescriptions for vitamin B complex and strengthening the nerves to protect from the risks of peripheral nerve infections.
Post said and Upper Egypt
In the governorate of Portsaid, as well as a number of governorates in Upper Egypt, the General Authority of Health Care — an affiliation of the Egyptian Ministry of Health and Population — in cooperation with the National Health insurance organization in Egypt, and the private sector s Novonardisk provided diabetes testing for patients visiting a number of public hospitals.
Those who were found to have the disease had a comprehensive examination in the Internal Medicine and Diabetes clinics, and ophthalmology clinics for a comprehensive eye examination.
Hospitals were provided with a patient support program, which is medical support from 8 teams coming from 8 hospitals specializing in the field of heart, kidney, and chest. The events were held in the presence of the medical and executive leaders in the governorate, and a number of leaders of the Ministry of Health.
Finally, a landmark hotel in Cairo was lit in blue to raise awareness about diabetes and support patients towards a better quality of life.
Cairo tower in blue
Another commemoration of the cause was lighting the Cairo Tower in blue as part of a campaign titled For Your Diabetes & Heart Health , with the aim to support and educate patients with Type 2 diabetes on the complications and risks of the disease.
The campaign and lighting of the famous tower was sponsored by the private sector s Boehringer Ingelheim which focuses on developing treatments and pioneering in research to fight metabolic conditions and their effect on the heart and kidney.
The campaign highlighted statistics indicating that up to 40 percent of patients with heart failure develop diabetes and that 37 percent of adults suffering from diabetes are diagnosed with chronic kidney disease, all of which arouse the need for raising awareness on the impact of diabetes on other organ systems.
According to the WHO, the number of diabetics worldwide is 422 million, and is expected to reach 500 million sufferers by 2030.
The prevalence of the disease among Egyptians is shockingly high, almost 17 percent of all adults aged 20-79, with Egypt ranking at number nine worldwide and is expected to be the eighth by the year 2030.
WDD is the world s largest diabetes awareness campaign, reaching a global audience of over 1 billion people in more than 160 countries. The campaign draws attention to issues of paramount importance to the world of diabetes, and keeps diabetes firmly in the public and political spotlight.