Prevention and managing most conditions does not depend solely on an individual; it is no “island” business. We should work together as families, communities, countries and the world at large for the best results. Our focus should be on providing support for one another for our common good.
This November, The International Diabetes Federation (IDF) has been raising awareness of the impact that diabetes has on the family and support network of those affected, and promoting the role of the family in the management, care, prevention and education of diabetes. The theme; The Family & Diabetes.
I cannot imagine any condition that will not require the support of many other people. Even in a professional setting, in order to achieve a holistic care, one should have a team of healthcare professionals working together. Scarce resources may not always make this possible but we should do our best to get as close to the ideal as possible. Imagine controlling, preventing or fighting diabetes, heart disease, stroke, cholera, Ebola, malaria, mental health and a host of other challenges by relying solely on our “traditional” systems of going to see a doctor in a consulting room and taking a few pills or “instructions”; it simply is INADEQUATE!!
The above is the reason I am so enthused by the theme for this year’s World AIDS DAY – “Communities make the difference.” As always World AIDS Day is December 1st.
The contribution that communities make to the AIDS response is PRICELESS. “Communities of people living with HIV, of key populations—gay men and other men who have sex with men, people who use drugs, sex workers, transgender people and prisoners—and of women and young people lead and support the delivery of HIV services, defend human rights, support their peers. Communities are the lifeblood of an effective AIDS response and an important pillar of support.”(UNAIDS).
Communities contribute to the AIDS response in many different ways. Their leadership and advocacy ensure that the response remains relevant and grounded, keeping people at the centre and leaving no one behind. If our support system does not include peer educators, counsellors, community health workers, door-to-door service providers, civil society organizations and grass-roots activists then we should be working towards incorporating most if not all. I must say a lot of work has been done and continues to be done BUT sometimes I get a sense that we have suddenly taken our foot off the pedal when it comes to HIV/AIDS education. Maybe it is just my imagination but the posters spread all over, the discussions in consulting rooms and in public places including markets, churches, mosques, work places etc. seems to have declined. Is it time to turn on the volume once more?
World AIDS Day offers an important platform to highlight the role of communities at a time when reduced funding and a shrinking space for civil society are putting the sustainability of services and advocacy efforts in jeopardy. Greater mobilization of communities is urgently required at all levels. The strong advocacy role played by communities is needed more than ever to ensure that AIDS remains on the political agenda that human rights are respected and that decision-makers and implementers are held accountable.
Global HIV & AIDS statistics — 2019 fact sheet
We still have work to do and we will achieve the best results when we work together as families and communities.
AS ALWAYS LAUGH OFTEN, ENSURE HYGIENE, WALK AND PRAY EVERYDAY AND REMEMBER IT’S A PRICELESS GIFT TO KNOW YOUR NUMBERS (blood sugar, blood pressure, blood cholesterol, BMI)
Dr. Kojo Cobba Essel
Health Essentials Ltd/Mobissel/St. Andrews Clinic
*Dr. Essel is a medical doctor, holds an MBA and is ISSA certified in exercise therapy, fitness nutrition and corrective exercise.
Thought for the week – “No family can ignore diabetes. Look for the warning signs in yours and work to prevent and control diabetes.”