Pharmacist Driven Health Awareness Campaign

On The Occasion Of World Diabetes Day under the distinguished patronage of His Excellency the President of Malta in aid of the Malta Community Chest Fund.



The Malta Chamber of Pharmacists is inviting the general public to participate in a health awareness campaign on the occasion of World Diabetes Day which is celebrated internationally on the 14th November 2012.  This campaign is being organized with the support of the Maltese Diabetes Association and the Malta Pharmaceutical Students Association

This campaign will be launched to the general public on the 1st November at 7.30pm at the Presidential Palace, Valletta.  The audience will be addressed by Prof. Stephen Fava, Consultant Endocrinologist and will focus on raising awareness about diabetes, how  its incidence in adulthood can be reduced through changes in lifestyle, the importance of screening  and who should be screened.

Malta Chamber of Pharmacists President, Ms. Mary Ann Sant Fournier will give details about  the campaign and explain to the  general public when, who, how and why they should visit a community pharmacist in different localities in Malta and Gozo who have adhered to the campaign on a voluntary basis during the week of the 12-17 November. The public will be able to identify participating pharmacists through a poster informing them about the campaign displayed  at the pharmacy entrance and through the list  of participating pharmacists displayed in public places and on the chamber’s website. Participating pharmacists will encourage people to be screened for diabetes and to receive advice on health promotion and prevention of diabetes and where necessary, receive a referral note to their family doctors for further investigation.

The campaign will be run against a minimal donation of 2 Euros per patient with proceeds going to the Malta Community Chest Fund (MCCF).

All the participating pharmacists have attended two intensive training seminars which were held during the month of October with the support of Consultant Endocrinologists from the Diabetes and Endocrine Centre at Mater Dei Hospital as well as other health care professionals in the field.  The aim of the seminars was to equip pharmacists with the latest updated knowledge information on diabetes prevention.

 The Malta Chamber of Pharmacists calls upon Government to implement an effective national diabetes plan which is the key to promoting diabetes education and prevention. Such a plan would raise public awareness on diabetes; it would promote diabetes on a national level and provide information and education.

A national diabetes plan would look into primary prevention to reduce the incidence of diabetes, to ensure early diagnosis and reduce complications, morbidity and mortality and minimise the impact of diabetes on society, besides improving the quality of diabetes treatment and care, ensuring that this is accessible, community based and with a patient centred approach.

Pharmacists, being the most accessible health care professionals in primary care, should  be integrated in diabetes policy as they can make significant contributions in the field. Pharmacists are involved in diabetes care and prevention in three different ways: health promotion, and disease prevention, ensuring optimal treat­ment and inter-professional collaboration.

A national diabetes plan would ensure that doctors, pharmacists and nurses working in the diabetes field have ongoing professional development and specialised training in diabetes care. It is a moot point that for such an ambitious but achievable plan to succeed, it must be sustainable. The benefits of a national structured plan for diabetes reduce the personal, family and societal burden of diabetes.



World Diabetes Day is celebrated every year on November 14. This date was chosen to mark the birthday of Frederick Banting who, along with Charles Best, first conceived the idea that led to the discovery of insulin in 1922.

World Diabetes Day was set up in 1991 by the International Diabetes Federation and the World Health Organisation in response to growing concerns about the escalating health threat that diabetes now poses. It became an official United Nations Day in 2007 with the passage of United Nations’ Resolution 61/225.

The campaign draws attention to issues of paramount importance to the diabetes world and keeps diabetes firmly in the public spotlight. This year sees the first of a five-year campaign that will address the growing need for diabetes education and prevention programmes.

Diabetes occurs because the body cannot use glucose properly, either owing to a lack of the hormone insulin or because the insulin available does not work effectively. There are two types of diabetes: In type 1 diabetes the body is unable to produce any insulin. This usually starts in childhood or young adulthood. It is treated with diet control and insulin injections.

In type 2 Diabetes, not enough insulin is produced or the insulin that is made by the body does not work properly. This tends to affect people as they get older and usually appears after the age of 40.

Diabetes is difficult. The disease imposes life-long demands on the 250 million people around the world now living with diabetes and their families.

People with diabetes must deliver 95 per cent of their own care, so it is of paramount importance that they receive ongoing, high-quality diabetes education that is tailored to their needs and delivered by skilled health professionals.

According to the latest edition of the IDF Diabetes Atlas (fourth edition), in Europe there are 55 million people living with diabetes aged between 20 to 79 years. Unfortunately, the situation will not improve and it is estimated that by 2020 this number is set to increase by 20 per cent to 66 million people. This averages to a diabetes prevalence rate of 8.1 per cent of the adult population in Europe and a significant increase from the present diabetes prevalence rate of 6.9 per cent. Malta is no exception to this diabetes “epidemic” and has a national prevalence rate of 10 per cent of the adult population.