Monday, 14 November 2011

National Diabetes Health & Awareness Exhibit

I decided to post a little earlier this week given the day that's in it. And what a day it has been! The internet has been "hopping" and so far diabetes has been all over my local radio station and two national ones not to mention one national TV news programme.

Every year in Ireland I would watch for, even a brief mention, in any sort of media, of diabetes on World Diabetes Day but it never happened. Hip, hip, hooray, for "Let's talk Diabetes".

Anyway, my post this week is a review of the National Diabetes Health and Awareness Exhibit.

On Sunday, 13th November (the day before World Diabetes Day), Diabetes Ireland organised a National Diabetes & Health Awareness Exhibit in the Rochestown Park Hotel in Cork.

I walked into a large conference room filled with stands; everyone from the world of diabetes was there. There were lots of fancy glucose meters on offer, dietitians, diabetes nurses, podiatrists, etc. willing to give you their time. There was so much information on diabetes that it was easy to become overwhelmed.

There was also lots of health checks free to the public; I had my cholesterol  and blood pressure checked recently but I did have my BMI measured at the exhibition, which was just a tad over the recommended 25 but the lads were so nice about it. Thankfully, I had suspected that I was over and it wasn’t a shock to me.

Diabetes Ireland also held their Annual General Meeting, which is usually eye-opener for me as I realise just how much is going on behind the scenes to make things better for me and for all people with diabetes and their families.

Not to mention that they do it all on a teeny-tiny budget and with just a small number of dedicated staff. I jotted down a couple of things that I thought were astounding.

During the period of 1st November 2010 to the 31st October 2011;

·         The diabetes helpline received 7,000 calls, with 88% of that number calling for general information on diabetes.

·         A Schools Resources pack was produced and sent to all primary and secondary schools in Ireland to ensure that both teachers and parents know what is expected of them in relation to having a child with diabetes in school.

·         The National Teen Activity day was attended by 87 adolescents (in my opinion this number was too low).

·         There are 12 groups of parents who meet regularly around the country.

·         Thanks to Diabetes Action’s campaign the HSE committed to providing 22 podiatrists dedicated to performing annual foot screening for people with diabetes.

·         Again thanks to Diabetes Action the HSE committed to ring-fencing €4 million to the setting up of a free retinopathy screening service for people with diabetes.

·         A research study was launched on what factors influence self-care and quality of life in the 23-30 year old age group. Apparently, this age group has an extremely difficult time dealing with diabetes and a study of why has never been done before.

 Diabetes Ireland’s objectives for 2012 are:

·         To continue to maintain all the services they currently have; the helpline, the members’ magazine, raising awareness, education and health promotion, etc.

·         To ensure that the podiatry service is delivered.

·         To ensure that the retinopathy service is on track for a national roll-out by the end of 2012.

·         To ensure that the HSE make progress on delivering a better service to children and adolescents with diabetes.

·         To continue to raise awareness about type 2 diabetes and put more emphasis on prevention.

·         And to highlight how care for people with diabetes needs to be integrated.

The Budget:
Diabetes Ireland receives 34% of its funding from the HSE for providing services that should be provided by the HSE (Type 2 diabetes education). They are hugely reliant on funding that comes from the general public. Their income for 2010 was just over €1.3 million which in my opinion is peanuts!

Diabetes Ireland is the only organisation Ireland has for people with diabetes and is dedicated to making the health service serve us better. People with diabetes need this organisation as a source of support and resources as well as to keep fighting for us and Diabetes Ireland needs more of us, the people with diabetes, to support it.

It’s a two-way street and we all win.

No comments:

Post a Comment