A Pharmacist Driven Health Awareness Campaign,
On The Occasion Of World Diabetes Day (WDD) in aid of CARITAS MALTA.
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 2013. This campaign is being organized in collaboration with the Malta Pharmaceutical Students Association and with the support of the Maltese Diabetes Association.
This campaign was launched to the general public on the 1st November from various community pharmacies which are participating in this campaign on a voluntary basis. Ms. Sant Fournier said that the campaign will focus on raising awareness about diabetes, and invited the general public to take the opportunity to visit one of the participating community pharmacies in different localities in Malta and Gozo who have adhered to the campaign on a voluntary basis during 11-30 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 (www.spizjara.org Campaigns-Participating Pharmacies). 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.
She concluded her address by thanking Ms. Claire Calleja, Chamber PRO for the organization and co-ordination of the campaign and Mr. Julian Fearne, President, Malta Pharmaceutical Students Association (MPSA) together with Ms. Althea Xuereb, MPSA campaigns officer who were also in attendance for bringing forward a motivated team of pharmacy students to actively participate in the campaign.
Prof. S. Fava explained how the diabetes incidence in adulthood can be reduced through changes in lifestyle, the importance of screening and who should be screened.Healthy individuals with diabetes risk factors should be screened once per year. He went on to explain the difference between type I and type 2 diabetes stating that the most common type 2 diabetes prevalence locally stands at around 10-11 %.
Mgr Karm Farrugia thanked the Malta Chamber of Pharmacists for opting to run the campaign in aid of CARITAS stating that community pharmacists are major health care professionals in promoting a healthy life style in the community and encouraged the public to take action and visit their pharmacist during the campaign and take the test.
The campaign will be run against a minimal donation of 2 Euros per patient, with proceeds going to CARITAS MALTA.
All the participating pharmacists have attended an intensive training seminar which was held recently in October by Prof. Stephen Fava. The aim of the seminar was to equip pharmacists with the latest updated knowledge information on diabetes prevention and management.
PRESS RELEASE November 2013
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 a 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. A five-year campaign was launched last year, addressing 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 although there is a growing incidence of T2DM in younger age groups.
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 (fifth 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.