Our chairman and managing director
has been a diabetes health care campaigner since he was diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes 14 years ago.
I was looking for a way to raise the profile of diabetes as a health problem and make sure care standards were the best they could be. From personal observations and experience it was obvious that there was a lack of cohesive and comprehensive local information regarding diabetes. It was obvious that there was a lack of understanding about diabetes and issues surrounding diabetes which needed to be addressed. I believed I could help and felt strongly that not enough was being done to ensure that diabetes was taken seriously. The various handouts often gave conflicting advice on what foods to eat and did not clarify between ‘a little, occasional, cut down’. There was poor information about foot care and eye care and the complications that could occur if diabetes was poorly managed.
In an effort to resolve this, SOMAH Wellness has formed local self help groups to form a working party and produce a booklet entitled 'Living with Diabetes'. The clinicians and self help group members could provide input and feedback as SOMAH Wellness put the resource together. This booklet will prove very successful, and will be hugely popular with the medical practitioners and other diabetes healthcare professionals.
It is our wish and our strong social responsibility for those who are existing diabetic and who are newly diagnosed with diabetes, our local groups will prove very supportive by providing apt information and proper guidance.
We are writing letters to the MLAs and MPs across the country reminding them about our group and also getting them involved in the group by sending group campaign letters pointing out the various problems in getting the medical care needed. For example, explaining that Type 2 is a serious complaint, explaining the risks, access to footcare and retinal screening. Unfortunately, there is still a lot of work to be done.
We are committed to work with every Members of Parliament included meeting up with the other diabetic professionals and we will gain their support to ensure diabetes issues remain high on their agenda. Over the years, we have raised the profile of what it is like to live with diabetes from the patient’s perspective by giving talks to healthcare professionals, diabetes specialist nurses and trainee doctors in order to give them a better understanding.
We are on a continuous effort, meeting with our local health care authority, the top end medical professionals and researchers, to try and convince them of the long term health benefits of good diabetes education. SOMAH Wellness is committed in keeping quality diabetes care at the top of their agenda and we have talked about a whole range of concerns with them which have been raised in our society.
Our aim is to continue to raise the profile of diabetes and educate all those involved in diabetes care and management. We would like to encourage others to get involved with SOMAH Wellness Diabetes Voices as there are many campaigns that enable people with different interests to participate. We wish to publish a medical journal.
There is a huge need to campaign as unfortunately not all the medical practitioners and healthcare professionals are up to date with newer medications and life changing ideas on how patients can manage their own diabetes. There are still many myths about having diabetes which need to be changed. Better education for the public in general is needed as many still are unaware of the complications that can occur when diabetes is poorly controlled.
SOMAH Wellness would contribute flat 10 % of our total sales revenue towards diabetes education courses which surely could give people the skills and knowledge to take control of their diabetes.