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World Diabetes Day in Kyrgyzstan

15 Nov 2012

An older woman takes part in a diabetes screening in Kyrgyzstan.Each year, World Diabetes Day (WDD) is marked on 14 November - a day devoted to fighting and raising awareness of diabetes. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), diabetes has become the third main cause of human deaths worldwide.

WDD is observed on 14 November as it is the birthday of Frederic Banting, who in 1921, jointly with Charles Beet, discovered insulin and was awarded the Nobel Prize.

The goal of WDD is to raise awareness of diabetes, its complications and symptoms, so as to reduce its impact through early diagnosis and timely treatment.

There are around 33,000 people with diabetes in Kyrgyzstan, of which 90% are over 60. However, the real number of people with diabetes is three to four times higher because many people don't know they have the disease or haven't been diagnosed yet.

Controlling the diabetes pandemic

This year, the WDD campaign goes under a slogan "Let's control diabetes. Now". The aim is to mobilise the world diabetes community to take the necessary steps to control the diabetes pandemic, which affects the lives of over 300 million people around the world.

HelpAge in Kyrgyzstan joined this event with partner organisations such as DanChurchAid Central Asia (DCA), Diabetes Association of Kyrgyzstan, Resource Center for Elderly, and ADRA Kyrgyzstan.

Members of an older people's group were invited to the Bishkek Historical Museum to participate in a WDD conference. Older people were given information about diabetes and its prevention. There were also diabetes screenings carried out by medical workers.

Akchurina Laila Muhamedovna, 63, who was at the event said: "It was nice to take part to raise the issue of diabetes among older people. Older people need to pay more attention to their health and be an active part of society."

Raising awareness and home visits

HelpAge provided 200 food packages for vulnerable diabetes patients, which consisted of vegetable oil, oatmeal and buckwheat in Bishkek and other locations. Additionally, HelpAge staff and members of an older people's group made home visits to people with diabetes who are not mobile.

Negrash Tamara Ivanovna, who is 68 and part of the older people's group said: "It was nice to visit one of our group members Natalia, who is at home with complications from her diabetes. She is always happy when we call her or visit. We also gave her a World Diabetes Day T-shirt and a food package and had a nice chat."

As well as taking part in WDD, HelpAge, with our partners, is also working to improve diabetes prevention and treatment by:

  • improving the quality of life of diabetics in Kyrgyzstan, by educating them on how to manage the effects of diabetes,
  • improving the quality of and access to medical services for people with diabetes,
  • raising awareness about diabetes and its risks.

Read more about our work securing better health for older people and what we do in Kyrgyzstan.

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Author profile

Nurdin Satarov
Country: Kyrgyzstan
Job title: Programme Manager

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