The present Pharmacists-Driven Diabetes awareness campaign( Naqqas ir-riskju tad-diabete: Staqsi l-Ispizjar Tieghek, 11-30 November) which was launched to the media by the Malta Chamber of Pharmacists on Friday 8 November , is an excellent example of the role of community pharmacists in promoting awareness about Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus (T2DM) in persons who may be at risk of developing this complex disease . It is a moot point that scourge of Diabetes is increasing globally, not least in Malta and that although Administrations have implemented serious efforts to educate , prevent and treat this condition, together with its co-morbidities these are not achieving the desired goals, on the other hand the incidence and prevalence are on the increase.
Health authorities and various relevant NGO’s and associations implement campaigns nearer and around the date of the commemoration of World Diabetes Day which is the 14 November, and many of these initiatives are repeated during the year with the common goal of raising awareness to change the habits of people in the risk bracket to a healthier lifestyle, to invite them to regularly screen their blood glucose levels and to empower people with diabetes to self manage and self monitor their condition effectively, in their own interest and in that of those around them, their families and carers and ultimately in the socioeconomic interest of the country the health budget and resources of which is heavily burdened.
The Govenment of the day has implemented a national plan on non-communicalble diseases including Diabetes, but in the opinion of the Chamber a more focussed strategic plan on Diabetes should follow. Such a plan should call on all possible healthcare professionals, patients and the pharmaceutical industry to work together in a task force to reach all the possible network of assets and fan out into the community.
Pharmacists are strategically placed to be one of the heath care professionals keystone in this network. At policy making level, in participating proactively in the selection of the medicinal products available in the treatment paradigms according to the most recent international guidelines and expert consensus statement; in the clinical context pharmacists can monitor diabetes management in a pharmaceutical care paradigm. Through the implementation of seamless care, Pharmacists can also give a pharmaceutical care service on the lines that are being implemented in the present campaign, by giving advice on changing to a healthy lifestyle and to avoids the risks of diabetes onset; identifying persons at risk and referring them to their family doctors through a referral note; monitoring treatment and promoting treatment adherence for better outcomes.
All having the same goal to reduce the incidence of T2DM diabetes and better treatment outcomes should be protagonists in a strategic plan on Diabetes in the best interest of patients and public.