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World Diabetes Day 2011: Raising awareness in Kyrgyzstan

14 Nov 2011

Older people participate in Despite the cold and cloudy weather, 200 people gathered in front of the State Historical Museum in Bishkek as part of the "Let's take control of diabetes" campaign on 14 November 2011.

In Kyrgyzstan, 32,000 people are registered as being diabetic. In reality however, this figure may be higher due to lack of awareness about the disease and cases not being diagnosed.  

Volunteers from the Diabetic Association of Kyrgyzstan, older people, patients with diabetes from Issyk-Kul and Chui provinces and doctors from Endocrinology Center participated in actions in three places in Bishkek.

The events included a flash mob with participants demonstrating physical exercises to the public. The exercises highlighted that patients can manage the disease by reducing their body's blood sugar levels.

Generate public awareness

Older people from HelpAge affiliate, Resource Center for Elderly,participate in the eventLayila Akchurina, leader of an older people's group from Kant town conducted a special physical exercise called Emperor's exercise, which helps in slowing down the ageing process. The exercise gets it name from the tradition that emperors who did the exercise lived for 300 years.

She added: "I think such events are very good and useful because they involve a lot of people. Such actions show people, especially older people, that they should not shrink into themselves, but be happy and find joy in life. Being happy is the main companion in fighting against the disease."

Food packages containing rice, ground barley, buckwheat and rolled oats (nutritious items for older people with diabetes) were distributed to leaders of older people's groups.

At the end of the event, a blue ring with helium balloons (symbol of World Diabetes Day) was launched into the sky by Mrs Zinaida Zajigaeva, an older activist who has devoted her whole life to advocate for older people's issues and rights. The main aim of the events was to gather public attention and generate awareness about diabetes.

Urgent action required by the government

Nurdin Satarov, manager of the HelpAge project on diabetes prevention and treatment said: "The National Programme on diabetes for 2012-2016, which was presented to the Ministry of Health on a recent round table, was well accepted.

Every ten seconds, a person dies from diabetes in the world. The problem requires urgent action and the government should take measures and allocate appropriate funding. We hope that it will be adopted next year and its implementation will bring positive results."

Read more about our work on non communicable diseases

Author profile


Aisuluu Kamchybekova
Country: Kyrgyzstan
Job title: Regional Communications Officer for Eastern E

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These blogs are personal reflections and do not necessarily reflect the views of HelpAge International.