Access to diabetes treatments is access to a better life

I have been busy these days so I’m sorry for being a bit behind on my posts. There is some IBD news that I will share with you but first I wanted to highlight this article that I saw on BI-ME.

Business Intelligence Middle East – bi-me.com – Despite high diabetes prevalence, critical treatments remain inaccessible in Gulf – News, analysis, reports.

Considering the ridiculous rates of diabetes in the Middle East, I felt that the topic of accessibility to proper treatments and medicines was one worth discussing. According to the article ‘there are 6.5 million residents of the GCC suffering with diabetes’. This is a huge number when you consider that there is no cure for the disease and that it is a very burdensome, chronic condition that these people will have to live with, monitor and manage every day of their life.

As new treatments are being developed, tested and put into use around the world, the governing powers whose responsibility it is to make these treatments accessible in this region, need to be prepared for the high demand of the increasingly self-educated diabetes sufferers looking for the most innovative treatment options. Doctors and their institutions also need to push for more education and adequate prescription processes in order to manage the situation. If the lives of 6.5 million people in the GCC are dictated by their diabetes, how accessible these treatments are will have a direct correlation to the growth of an increasingly dangerous gray market which is subject to exploitation of illegal counterfeits. Those living with diabetes will also be more prone to self medicating practices that could make a bad problem exponentially worse.

If you have a story or comment, share it. Debating the issue will likely point to potential solutions.

Disrupting Diabetes

The model of Disruption

The model of Disruption

I’ve been asked by a large Dubai school to present and conduct a sort of creativity seminar for their older students.  As part of a creative agency, TBWA, we practice a motto of ‘disruption’, which is a way to break brands out of the ordinary and turn them extraordinary. Sometimes this can be very difficult when we are asked to create advertisements for bland or boring subjects. But it is through Disruption that pet food, in the case of Pedigree, became a call sign for ‘the love of dogs’, creative outdoor, print and tv campaigns as well as great events. Examples of some ads can be found here.

Because people often tell me that it is hard to be Inspired by Diabetes (as mentioned in a previous post) I thought why not bring the concept of Disruption to diabetes. This way, kids can learn about the disease, be given tools to tap their creativity and put the two together to make art that will be entered into the competition. The purpose for me is to engage older kids and get them to submit art in a variety of media so that I can share it with the world.

If anyone has any ideas how to get students excited, please let me know. Any brainstorming techniques, cool diabetes visuals, examples of diabetes art, it would be a big help.

Having fun!!!

In the spirit of ‘Inspired by Diabetes’ I thought it would be nice to look at some places around the web that take a lighter approach to awareness and living with the disease.

The American Diabetes Association has a section on their website called ‘Fun and Games’. It is a page featurning many diabetes-themed games to take your mind off diabetes for a few minutes. Games such as Build a Healthy Kid and the Interactive Crossword puzzle are both educational and fun for kids.  

There are a number of fun quizzes online to test your knowledge of diabetes. One great one is the Celebrity Diabetes Quiz on Diabeteens.com. This quiz is more diabetes specific but still fun.

Here’s a neat game on the diabetes blog Tudiabetes – It is a True or False game played through the comments section of the post.

Here We Go!!

The UAE, Lebanon and Egypt inspired by Diabetes campaigns are launching this weekend for World Diabetes Day. Share with me any other events going on in the Middle East that are meant to raise awareness about diabetes.

http://www.worlddiabetesday.org – check out the International Diabetes Federation’s Unite for Diabetes, Diabetes Day site for information on how you can help alert people to diabetes’ devastating effects on the region.

Inspired by Diabetes at Ibn Battuta Mall, Dubai

This week, Inspired by Diabetes in the UAE is partnering with Ibn Battuta Mall’s Unite for Diabetes awareness week. Come by and spend some time getting your blood sugars checked, enjoy some fun activities and learn about the disease that is affecting 1 out of every 5 people in the country.

Visit us at the Inspired by Diabetes art area and use our supplies to make your diabetes-inspired creation. You will have the chance to enter it into the competition even before the official launch.

The event continues from 3pm until the mall closes from the 10-15. Bring your friends.

http://www.ibnbattutamall.com/

International Diabetes Federation MENA Member Associations

Since Inspired by Diabetes will be launching again in this region, I thought it might be helpful for all the Middle East and North Africa to know who their regional representative is for their respective countries. If you want to know IDF member associations outside this region, click the IDF’s website.

Afghanistan Diabetes Association
AFDA
Diabetes Control Center
Maiwand Hospital, Cinema-e-Pamir
Kabul
Afghanistan
Tel +93-75-202-3551

Bahrain Diabetes Asscociation
PO Box 20321
Manama
Bahrain
Tel +973-279664
Fax +973-251360
E-mail chs@health.gov.bh
Website www.chs.edu.bh

Egyptian Diabetes Association
40 Safia Zaghloul Street
21111 Alexandria
Egypt
Tel +20-3-5439928
Fax +20-3-5431698
E-mail morsiarab@dataxprs.com

Iraqi Diabetes Association
Al-Yarmook Hospital
Al-Qadsia Province
Baghdad
Iraq
Tel +964-15425727
Fax +964-15425727
E-mail majeedmustafa@hotmail.com

Iranian Diabetes Society
IDS
46 Ramin Malakooti Street
Patris Lomumba
14439 Tehran
Islamic Republic of Iran
Tel +98-21-8253113
Fax +98-21-88275274
E-mail diabetessociety@yahoo.com
Website www.ir-diabetes-society.com

Jordanian Society for the Care of Diabetes
PO Box 9704
11191 Amman
Jordan
Tel +962-6-5160207
Fax +962-6-5159807
E-mail jorscd@next.jo

Kuwait Diabetes Society
KDS
PO Box 68039
71961 Kifan
Kuwait
Tel +965-4819838
Fax +965-4819885
E-mail kds@kma.org.kw
Website http://kds-kw.com

Lebanese Diabetes Association
Makassed Center – 4th floor
Mar Elias street
Beirut
Lebanon
Tel +961-7-300515
Fax +961-7-739424
E-mail sandidendo@hotmail.com

Libyan Diabetic Association
PO Box 11052
Tripoli
Libyan Arab Jamahiriya
Tel +218-21-4776992
Fax +218-21-3600659
E-mail dr_abusrewil@yahoo.co.uk

Ligue Marocaine de Lutte contre le Diabète
28 avenue de France, n° 8 Agdal
or: PO Box 6583
10000 Rabat
Morocco
Tel +212-37-773341
Fax +212-37-773341

Oman Diabetes Society
Oman
P.O.Box 3201
111 Al-Khood
Oman
Tel +968-24489951
Fax +968-24481699
E-mail samiya2@gmail.com

Diabetic Association of Pakistan
5-E/3, Nazimabad
74600 Karachi
Pakistan
Tel +92-21-6616890
Fax +92-21-6680959
Website www.dap.org.pk

Qatar Diabetes Association
PO Box 752
Al Mumtaza
974 Doha
Qatar
Tel +974-4447481
Fax +974-4431901
E-mail qda-idf@qf.org.qa
Website www.qda.org.qa

Saudi Diabetes and Endocrine Association
PO Box 1498
31952 Al Khobar
Saudi Arabia
Tel +966-3-8878970, 8876099
Fax +966-3-8878710
E-mail sdea@sdea.org.sa
Website www.sdea.org.sa

Syrian Diabetes Association
PO Box 6858
Damascus
Syrian Arab Republic
Tel +963-11-2318900
Fax +963-11-2318900
E-mail sda@mail.sy

Association Tunisienne des Diabètiques
Tunisian Diabetic Association
Boulevard 9 Avril
Immeuble SNIT – app 5L2
1006 Tunis
Tunisia
Tel +216-71-569096
Fax +216-71-570242
E-mail association.diabetiques@planet.tn

Emirates Diabetes Society
PO Box 6600
UAE Dubai
United Arab Emirates
Tel +97-14-3377377
Fax +97-14-3344082
E-mail ema@emirates.net.ae

Inspired by Diabetes Art Contest 2008

The Middle East edition of the global art contest ‘Inspired by Diabetes’ will be starting up again soon. Contestants will be invited to submit their poetry, prose, music, video and visual art relating to how diabetes affects them, their society and loved ones. Stay tuned for more information or email Inspiredbydiabetes-me@tbwaraad.com to be added to the mailing list.

Inspired by Diabetes Winners

Below are the biographies of the winners from each of the three Middle East countries. Congratulations to all the winners.

Lebanon

First Place – Children’s Category 

Miss N.H., Age 9, Lebanon

N.H. won in the children’s category with her self-portrait photograph depicting her holding a red rose and an insulin needle.

As someone living with diabetes at a young age and who recognizes the possibility that she will always have the disease, N.H. entered the ‘Inspired by Diabetes’ competition to show that her life is no different than an average girl.

“I wanted to inform people that diabetes is a disease people can live with and that they can still have a normal life, live and play like everyone else,” she says. “I participated in this competition to prove to people that diabetics are as normal as others.”

Through her artwork, N.H. demonstrates that with the use of insulin as a treatment, diabetics can enjoy life just like anyone else.  

Second Place – Children’s Category

Miss G. I., age 12, Lebanon

G.I. painted her picture after learning about diabetes on the internet.  The painting, entitled “Diabetes: your worst enemy – insulin: your best friend” depicts a diabetic injecting insulin in their stomach.

With the help of her parents, G.I. learned that, while diabetes can sometimes be passed down through a person’s genes, the more common type (Type II diabetes) is most often caused by a poor lifestyle.

“Through my art, I wanted to tell diabetics that no matter how sick they are, they should take their insulin and persevere so that they can keep the disease in check and eventually get better,” she says.

First Place – Health Care Professionals

Mr. Tarek El Saleh, Dallaa Hospital

Currently working in Dalaa Hospital as a nurse in the Emergency Room, Tarek finished his nursing degree before traveling to Australia where he researched Type I diabetes. His submission to the contest was a picture of a puzzle, which he says, “is an example of how you can miss something that is important without knowing. Sometimes you can overlook the simple solutions to larger problems but really they are easy to fix.

Having diabetes in his family, Tarek felt compelled to share his knowledge through the contest as he works closely with diabetic patients and hopes he can help raise awareness about the disease.

“In my opinion to solve a problem, we must first know that we have this problem, so education for diabetic patients must be one of our priorities as health care professionals. From my experience in the nursing field I faced a lot of patients who stopped taking their medication without telling their doctors,” he says. “They need people to help treat them as well as educate them.”

Second Place – Health Care Professionals

Mona Nasrallah, AUB Medical Center

Mona was ‘inspired’ to submit to the contest after a former patient, who had lost a leg and was nearly blind from her diabetes, contacted her wanting to deliver a scarf she had knitted.

Knowing how this former patient suffered from diabetes as well as financial problems, Mona was reminded about why she had gone into medicine in the first place.

“Needless to say, I was touched and grateful, firstly for reminding me not to get tangled in the details of everyday medical care, which of course is a necessity, but should not make me lose sight of why I am here. And secondly for showing me that no matter which state the patient is in, I should never underestimate their ability to give,” she explains.

“I was inspired by my patient and decided to share her gift in this contest.”

Egypt  

First Place – Children’s Category – Under 9 years old

Abdel Rahim M

An honour student at his school,  Abdel Ramih loves to play and watch football. He submitted an entry to Inspired by Diabetes as one of his family members has diabetes. “I came up with the idea for my drawing because there were always needles around my house,” he says. “The title ‘Insulin leads children to a safe haven’ made sense because it is true in my house.”

Second Place – Children’s Category – Under 9 years old

Mohamed Y.

Youssef is 4 ½ years old He loves reciting Quran and religious anthems as well as drawing with the help of his older sister. “I love my family and am always excited to explore new things,” he explains. “But I really love computers and could spend hours playing around.” 

First Place – Children’s Category – Over 9 years old

May A.

May, is 12 years old, lives closely with diabetes in her family.. She worked on the srawing with her sister. They both have a real passion for drawing and love spending free time drawing pictures of weddings and other nice scenes.

“Our passion for drawing was our main motivation to participate in the contest,” they said.  “The drawing is mainly inspired by the medical education we received in an education camp we attended.”  For May, diabetes is very easy to control and manage. “All it takes is to know how to manage diabetes and what to do to control it,” she explains. “It is also very important to get regular check ups and blood sugar testing“

Second Place – Children’s Category – Over 9 years old

Amina M.

Amina is a top student in her class.. She loves the sea and uses it as inspiration for her paintings. She really loves sports and long walks.

Her submission to Inspired by Diabetes shows all the ways to manage diabetes, including abiding by the nutrition pyramid, exercising, abiding by doses and measures, foot care and to not over eat.    

UAE

First Place – Children’s Category – Under 9 years old

Fahd and Hamdan  

Fahd, is a 9 year-old who has diabetes in his family. He loves to play football and enjoys drawing. He worked with his classmate Hamdan on a drawing to encourage people to play sports. “I think playing sports is the best way to prevent diabetes,” he says. “Although playing football needs a lot of effort, I encourage everyone to do so as it keeps them fit and happy.”         

Second Place – Children’s Category – Under 9 years old

Maitha

Maitha submitted an entry to Inspired by Diabetes as one of her family members has diabetes and she loves to support diabetics. She has a real passion for drawing and enjoys spending free time drawing pictures.

“I love my family and my dad keeps on alerting me about taking care of my health,” She says. “I play with my friends to protect them and myself from diabetes.” 

First Place – Children’s Category – Over 9 years old

Hadeel, Aseel, and Zainab

Twin sisters Hadeel and Aseel worked together with their friend and classmate Zainab to submit an entry to the Inspired by Diabetes competition. “Our passion for drawing was our main motivation to participate in the contest,” they said.  

They enjoy drawing and are fans of the popular Arabic cartoon ‘Freej’. The drawing shows the four main characters in the cartoon talking about diabetes in a funny and entertaining way. “Since my elder sister is studying nursing, I always hear a lot about diabetes and ways of prevention,” Said Hadeel. “I love drawing and my parents always encourage me to practice drawing and participate in different competitions,” added Aseel. 

Second Place – Children’s Category – Over 9 years old

Mohamed

Mohamed, born in 1997, loves the challenge and enjoys drawing. He participates in all different kinds of competitions especially health related ones. 

His submission to Inspired by Diabetes pictures diabetes as a devil that appears to people who lead inactive lifestyles.

“I like using art as a way to express my thoughts and feelings,” he says. 

First Place – Adults Category

Asma

Asma, a talented student, loves photography and graphic design. She enjoys reading and finds it as a way to enhance her creativity. She participated in this competition to share her work with others and to tell people that diabetes is a preventable disease.

“I participated in this competition to support diabetics and warn others from this disease,” she says. “I encourage such competitions because they raise awareness about diabetes in a very creative and entertaining way.”

Second Place – Adults Category

Henna

Henna is a mother of two who loves to dance despite being born with a genetic hearing impairment. She is a designer and her submission to Inspired by Diabetes demonstrates her talent and knowledge of the disease. “We only have one life,” she says. “Life’s beautiful and it is better to think positive and live in happiness.”

Such is reflected in her submission to the contest. Described by Henna, “you can see the sufferer in blue getting support from others (red). The hearts themselves also represent kidneys.”

Art that inspires healthier lives

Inspired by Diabetes, the unique art contest that challenges people to creatively express the ways that diabetes affects their lives, recently held the award ceremonies for winners in Lebanon and Egypt. Young artists shared their work and were presented with exciting prizes at the events, which also hosted important dignitaries ranging from health ministers to popular artists.  Below are some pictures from the events.

The UAE winners will be attending their award ceremony on June 5 at the popular art gallery, Jam Jar. There will also be a special guest appearance by the popular band ABRI who will play at the event. If you are interested in attending please send me an email at inspiredbydiabetes-me@tbwaraad.com.

Angelina Jolie diagnosed with gestational diabetes

Angelina Jolie

 

According to OK! Middle East, actress and icon Angelina Jolie has developed gestational diabetes, a condition which can occur during pregnancy to women who have previously shown no symptoms of being diabetic.

is a condition in which women without previously diagnosed diabetes exhibit high blood glucose levels during pregnancy. Gestational diabetes affects 3-10% of pregnancies, depending on the population studied.[1] No specific cause has been identified, but it is believed that the hormones produced during pregnancy reduce a woman’s sensitivity to insulin, resulting in high blood sugar levels. 

Gestational diabetes generally has few symptoms and it is most commonly diagnosed by screening during pregnancy. Diagnostic tests detect high levels of glucose in blood samples.

Babies born to mothers with gestational diabetes are at increased risk of complications, primarily growth abnormalities and chemical imbalances such as low blood sugar. Gestational diabetes is a reversible condition and women who have adequate control of glucose levels can effectively decrease the associated risks and give birth to healthy babies.

Women with gestational diabetes are at high risk of developing type 2 diabetes after pregnancy, while their offspring are prone to developing childhood obesity, with type 2 diabetes later in life. Most patients are treated only with diet modification and moderate exercise but some take anti-diabetic drugs, including insulin therapy.

According to Wikipedia, classical risk factors for developing gestational diabetes are the following:

In addition to this, statistics show a double risk of GDM in smokers[9] Polycystic ovarian syndrome is also a risk factor.[7] Some studies have looked at more controversial potential risk factors, such as short stature.[10]

Frequently women with gestational diabetes exhibit no symptoms (which is an argument in favour of screening during pregnancy). However, possible symptoms include increased thirst, increased urination, fatigue, nausea and vomiting, bladder infection, yeast infections and blurred vision.