Diabetes is increasing at an alarming rate globally. It is a complex, chronic condition that affects all areas of a person’s life and that requires high quality care. To this end, diabetes education is of critical importance and should be considered an integral part of diabetes prevention and care. Unfortunately this is not the case in many countries of the world where diabetes education is, at best, in its infancy or non–existent. The combination of lack of access to quality medical management and diabetes education leads to poor clinical outcomes, reduced quality of life and high health–related costs due to service utilization and the costs of treatment.
IDF’s position is that
- All people with diabetes, no matter where they live, have the right to learn about their disease.
- Healthcare professionals must be educated to be responsible for prevention and provision of diabetes care.
- People at risk and the wider public must know the risk and learn about prevention.
- Health ministries have to ensure they have a comprehensive diabetes education strategic plan integrated into their National Diabetes Programme.
As the world incidence of diabetes grows efforts to promote self–management education, training for providers and public awareness are critical in reducing the humanistic and economic burden caused by the disease. For people affected by diabetes, self–management education training is important since people with diabetes and their families provide 95% of their care themselves. Without appropriate education people cannot make the complex daily medical decisions required for good health, quality of life and survival. The goal of diabetes self–management training is to support the efforts of people with diabetes to:
- Understand the nature of their illness and its treatment.
- Identify emerging health problems in early, reversible stages.
- Adhere to self–care practices.
- Make needed changes in their health habits.