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The importance of Education towards effective and collective management of a person living with diabetes can not be overemphasized. With recent research publications on the improved glycemic control in patients who encounter educational intervention.
The escalating prevalence of type 2 diabetes is threatening to undermine healthcare systems throughout the world.The latest Internationl Diabetes Federation(IDF) estimates suggest that 380 million people will be affected by 2025, with one person dying every 10 seconds. Diabetes is increasingly a problem in developing regions of the world, where the number of people affected has risen dramatically in recent years. At the beginning of the 20th century, diabetes was rare in Africa, but with the rapid urbanization and change in social life style in the 21st century there has been a rise in the disease and its complications.
One of the most effective weapon to fight this global epidemic is Education. A potent tool to fight ignorance which is further fueling this epidemic of diabetes. The type of education is that which involves the patient discussing his or her experience in a learning atmosphere while learning as well. In other words a participatory learning process.
Healthy Interactions USA INC. came up with Conversation Map TM Tool for engaging patients in useful conversations about there experience and with useful guide of a trained facilitator, wealth of learning takes place and the commitments made by patients are more lasting.
With the introduction of Conversation Map Training Tool into the Nigerian Health Systems, how well can it be sustained? Is a silent question with no tangible answer.
Eli Lilly sponsored some Trained Conversation Map Expert Trainers to conduct a noble scheme. The trained about 72 diabetes Educators from across the six geopolitical zones of Nigeria all converged in Abuja, Nigeria. With this training, the 72 persons comprising doctors, pharmacists, nurses, lab scientists, social workers among others were empowered to train patients. This will definitely have a multiplier effect on their various glucose controls. However, the various diabetes educators need to be encouraged to do more in their various localities. The Ministry of Health should make special allocation towards building capacity from primary health care level to Tertiary level to enable prompt education of patients. The major problem of break down of this scheme is finance, in terms of transport and logistics for the educators and need for re-training.
Conversation Map Tool should be deployed in all our health institutions to help us reduce the statistical predictions of prevalence rate estimates in few years ahead. Currently, the Map is made in English language, French and Arabic. We need them translated to our local languages in various geopolitical zones to enable effective use for optimum benefit. With strong political will, this is possible.