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Access to diabetes care: if not now, when?

The theme of World Diabetes Day 2021-2023 is Access to Diabetes Care. Millions of people with diabetes around the world still do not have access to the care they need, even though 100 years have passed since the discovery of insulin. WHO writes on its website that the centenary of the discovery of insulin provides a unique opportunity to bring about meaningful change for the more than 460 million people living with diabetes and the millions more at risk. The cornerstones of diabetes care include access to insulin, access to oral medications, access to self-management, access to education and psychological support, and access to healthy food and safe places to exercise.

To mark this year's World Diabetes Day (14 November), CHCL health workers and the SCUBY team teamed up with the Ljubljana City Library at the Bežigrad District Library.

A corner with health education materials was set up at CHCL throughout the week.

Through various communication channels, we invited people from the local community to actively participate in a conversation between an educator, a member of the SCUBY team (CHCL health worker) and a trained peer supporter in the library premises. The conversation focused on type 2 diabetes, from early detection to self-management and self-care of the disease through diet, regular physical activity, and medication. An interesting dialogue was established in explaining hypoglycemia, self-care, helping others and thinking about what leads to acute and chronic complications of diabetes. The importance of getting regular check-ups from different doctors was emphasised. Among the participants there were also healthy people who attended the meeting to understand friends with diabetes and their feelings about accepting and living with a chronic disease.

Educator Majda Mori Lukančič

After the meeting, a trained peer supporter said that it is easy to care for others, but it is also important to love yourself, know yourself and take care of yourself. The librarian (organiser) wrote that trained peer supporters can describe and share their experiences and have the ability to interpret professional language for lay people.

We ended the meeting with the message of the importance of building contacts and networks between healthcare professionals, people with diabetes and the local community.

Peer supporters following education.

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