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World Diabetes Day 2018: Cambodia pushes for family support in diabetes management and prevention

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Diabetes is one of the common causes of death across the globe. In fact, the World Health Organisation has estimated that in 2030, this non communicable disease will become the 7th major cause of world deaths. At present, it affects about 425 million people.

And Cambodia is no exception. In 2015, there were more than 230,000 cases of diabetes in the kingdom. Based on the survey of the Ministry of Health in 2010, 2.3 percent of the Khmer population in rural areas and 5.6 percent in urban places have diabetes.

These facts are what drove the WHO and International Diabetes Federation to create the World Diabetes Day in 1991. It became an official yearly affair in 2006. Celebrated every November 14, the World Diabetes Day is the response to the growing concerns about the escalating health threat posed by diabetes.

To join in this global advocacy, Sanofi Cambodia and the Cambodian Diabetes Association led the World Diabetes Day 2018, with the theme “The Family and Diabetes”, at Banteay Srey Temple in Siem Reap on November 18. Around 600 healthcare professionals and members of the society joined the event. This year, the focus is on promoting the role of families in the management, care, prevention and education on diabetes. The organisers, along with participants, held parades and posted banners bearing key information about the disease. Ms Dao Thu Nga, head of Sanofi Cambodia Operations, said, “Families have a key role to play in addressing the modifiable risk factors for type 2 diabetes and must be provided with the education, resources and environments to live a healthy lifestyle”.

She added that family support in diabetes care is proven to have substantial effects in improving health outcomes for people with diabetes. Professor Dr. Lim Keuky, president of CDA, said, “In average per month, there are around 4000 of diabetes patients who come to receive the treatment at the Cambodian Diabetes Association Siem Reap branch and mobile clinic. Among them, approximately 1000 diabetes patients come to receive the treatment regularly while the others come occasionally.” With the annual observance of World Diabetes Day and Sanofi Cambodia’s own initiative, “Cambodia Education Programme on Diabetes (CEP-D)”, it is hoped that Cambo-dians’ knowledge and under-standing on diabetes will further expand and deepen.

Sanofi’s CEP-D project, launched in August, has already acquired a budget of nearly USD500,000 to train approximately 1,180 doctors and 500 students on the proper management of diabetes. The project is also seen to raise awareness not only among diabetic patients, but the Cambodian population at large; thus creating a kingdom with well-informed and cognizant citizens.

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