Additional activities such as an editorial project of a region wide diabetes magazine in the United Arab Emirates are currently being planned. The projects were just recently introduced by leading diabetes experts at the second "Excellence across Borders" conference in Moscow, Russia. The two-day panel exclusively held for "Excellence across Borders" experts was titled "Practical Solutions in the daily treatment of diabetes" and provided insight on the progress of different activities.
"Behind the ‘Excellence across Borders’ program stands a high-class team of diabetes experts. Together, we aim at raising awareness and managing the disease burden and I am proud to state that we have reached a lot within the last year," said Gerd-Walter Rohm, initiator of "Excellence across Borders" at Bayer HealthCare. "Participants gain international know-how, relay the information to their home countries and thus contribute to improving local disease management strategies."
The program was initiated in May 2012 in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, and aims at building up a network of excellence among diabetes experts in countries with high prevalence rates such as in the Middle East, North Africa or Europe. Although there is extensive knowledge on the management of the metabolic disorder, some countries do not benefit to the same extent from the current options. Leading diabetes experts are invited to exchange views, address regional differences, and develop local projects.
This year’s conference was hosted by Professor Dr. Alexander Dreval at the Regional Research Clinical Institute (MONIKI) in Moscow. Professor Dreval is working on a diabetes registry of the Moscow region which is being established with the help of specially designed software considering local conditions. A member of his study group, Professor Dr. Inna Misnikova, introduced local activities for the prevention of diabetes, as well as epidemiological studies conducted in Moscow County. By taking a closer look at the Lukhovitsky Central Regional Hospital in the Moscow region including its diabetes mobile unit, participants could also catch a glimpse at how local health service providers work in a more rural area.
Diabetic School Awareness Program, Saudi Arabia
The "Diabetic School Awareness Program" which is planned to be launched in autumn 2013 is an evaluation to improve knowledge about current options in the diagnosis, therapy, and prevention of diabetes in Saudi Arabia. Located in the Jeddah region, the project aims at addressing the younger population that constitutes about 70 percent of the total population. Healthcare professionals will visit local schools to assess diabetes prevalence rates, and to gain information such as on obesity and glucose intolerance among teenagers between the ages of twelve and eighteen years. The fieldwork will include screening students at ten to 14 schools representing different socio-economic backgrounds. Students will be educated in improving personal lifestyles through lectures, audio-visual aids and educational activities including science teachers and health workers within the school system.
About "Excellence across Borders"
Diabetes is one of the most common diseases globally. Improving the conditions for people living with the condition will undoubtedly be one of the most challenging health issues of the 21st century. According to the International Diabetes Federation (IDF), the prevalence of the metabolic disorder is especially alarming in countries of the Middle East and Northern Africa (MENA) region, with prevalence rates as high as 23 percent. In many areas, more than 50 percent of the people with diabetes remain undiagnosed. While European prevalence rates are much lower (about 7 percent), the rate of undiagnosed people remains high, with about 39 percent.(1)With "Excellence across Borders", Bayer HealthCare actively promotes a country-specific approach in countries with still low awareness in broader part of the population by sharing knowledge and experience in excellence-oriented networks. Participants may learn from one another and become inspired and motivated to search for new local options in diagnosing, treating, and preventing diabetes in their home countries.
The changes in lifestyle and nutrition that come along with modern societies enhance the risk of diabetes. The metabolic disorder occurs when the pancreas is unable to produce a sufficient amount of insulin, or when the body is not able to effectively use the produced insulin. In that case, an increased concentration of glucose in the blood (hyperglycemia) can seriously harm the body, particularly nerves and blood vessels. Diabetes can be caused by a genetic predisposition, as well as factors like obesity, physical inactivity, increasing age and even ethnicity.(2)