Diabetes is now a well-established global health problem since it is increasingly affecting the younger population. Owing to its chronicity, the younger population suffering from diabetes will be living with the disease for several decades, thereby increasing long-term damage and dysfunction on their body’s organs.
Studies have shown that an alarming four-in-five family members would have trouble recognizing the warning signs of diabetes. A lack of knowledge about diabetes means that spotting the warning signs is an issue impacting a cross-section of society. This is a major concern due to the signs being milder in type 2 diabetes most prevalent form of the condition which is also responsible for around 90% of all diabetes cases.
Diabetes is often called a “family disease” because it affects more people than just the person who is diagnosed. As the patient is required to change old routines (and adopt new ones) across a wide variety of areas in his or her life, significant adjustments by all of those close to the patient are also necessary in order to ensure good disease management and physical health.
However, when families come together and fight diabetes as a team, everybody wins. Research has shown that patients have better health when their families are supportive and share in the disease management.
At APSA, we aim at targeting Mauritian families to tackle this alarming issue. We have a specialized team of doctors, dietitians, psychologist, occupational therapist, healthcare assistants and health educators who pay particular attention to the family context of the disease.
The World Diabetes Day, held on the 14th of November, is a globally-celebrated event to promote awareness about diabetes. APSA celebrated the WDD on the 16th of November 2019 with a diabetes screening centred on the family. This year we have remained focused on raising awareness of the impact diabetes has on the family and to promote the role of the family in the recognition, management, care and prevention of diabetes.
The APSA multidisciplinary care team is actively giving greater consideration to interventions that enable family members to be involved in diabetes management in positive ways.
Dr Samia Hafez Amir, Clinical Manager at APSA