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Millwood, VA, November 13, 2012

Project HOPE says the need for diabetes education in the developing world has never been greater as over 366 million people suffer from the disease worldwide. Finding new methods to reach the masses is crucial to combat the enormous toll on health systems in emerging nations. 

The International Diabetes Federation estimates that, without intervention, more than 552 million people will have diabetes by 2030 and almost 80 percent of diabetes will occur in low- and middle-income countries.  

Virginia-based Project HOPE, a global health education and humanitarian assistance organization, has been addressing the global explosion of diabetes and other chronic diseases for nearly 30 years. Expanding diabetes education which includes dynamic promotion of healthy lifestyle choices to health care professionals in places like India, China, Africa, Latin America and the United States is key to reversing the deadly epidemic of diabetes. 

“There’s an urgent need for more diabetes educators to reach communities still unfamiliar with how to recognize, treat and prevent the disease. We are dealing with a public health crisis in the developed and  now the developing world where millions have diabetes and millions are not properly diagnosed, millions more are at risk of developing diabetes putting businesses, communities and health systems at risk of a major productivity, financial, and resource  crisis in the future,” said Paul Madden, M.Ed., HOPE’s Senior Advisor for Non-communicable Diseases. 

World Diabetes Day

HOPE’s battle against diabetes began in 1998 in China, where HOPE is the only U.S. NGO administering a diabetes education program.  Today, it’s estimated that more than 92 million Chinese have diabetes and another 148 million adults are in the pre-diabetes stages. HOPE’s diabetes programs have grown beyond diagnosis, treatment and patient care in Chinese hospitals and now include public awareness programs at the community level in provincial training centers throughout the country. Based on HOPE’s Train-the-Trainer methodology, networks are now linking more than 800 hospitals and community health centers with HOPE’s diabetes training centers, educating more than 40,000 health care providers and reaching over 223,000 patients and their families through programs supported by China’s Ministry of Health and funded by HOPE’s corporate partners such as BD, Eli Lilly and Company and Philips Healthcare.

In sub-Saharan Africa, diabetes was once rare, but today it’s estimated that more than 12 million people are afflicted with the disease. In Johannesburg, the HOPE Centre recently opened in partnership with Eli Lilly to address the needs of patients at risk of developing or living with diabetes and hypertension.  The HOPE Centre is working to increase access to diagnostic and treatment services, as well as diabetes prevention and disease management through support groups. HOPE is also tackling diabetes and other NCDs in Mexico, Nicaragua and the U.S. state of New Mexico.  

India Diabetes Educator Project

In India, HOPE’s award-winning Diabetes Educator Project (IDEP) has trained more than 3,000 health professionals, including nurses, nutritionists and physical therapists to encourage healthy lifestyles and to work with physicians to provide anti-diabetic medicines and insulin therapy.  In an innovative new approach, HOPE has partnered with the Cornerstone OnDemand Foundation and the Takeda Pharmaceutical Company, Ltd to extend the reach of IDEP through a new online diabetes educator course known as the International Diabetes Educator E-Learning (IDEEL) Program that will have the potential to reach a multitude of health care providers for years to come.

“With over 61 million diabetics in India, it’s crucial that we find new and innovative ways to reach people and to ensure that they balance their existing diabetes better and to slow the rate of growth of type 2 diabetes in rapidly urbanizing India. The IDEEL program holds great promise in this effort for India and beyond, “said Madden.  

The IDEEL program is scheduled to launch early next year and will include engaging graphics, animation and interactive features make the distance learning experience interesting and effective. E-learning courses will tackle diabetes as a public health issue and focus on the basic principles of diabetes awareness, and will teach health professionals internationally how to build knowledge, develop critical thinking, counseling and communication skills.  Upon its future success in India, HOPE will expand the reach of IDEEL to other countries that also face a diabetes crisis including Brazil, Indonesia, Oman and beyond.  

World Diabetes Day is held annually on November 14 and aims to increase awareness of the effects of diabetes and its complications. It is hoped that increased awareness will lead to more resources to help people balance their diabetes more fully, fight the causes of diabetes and help fund research for improved treatment options.  

About Project HOPE 

Founded in 1958, Project HOPE (Health Opportunities for People Everywhere) is dedicated to providing lasting solutions to health problems with the mission of helping people to help themselves. Identifiable to many by the SS HOPE, the world’s first peacetime hospital ship, Project HOPE now provides medical training and health education, and conducts humanitarian assistance programs in more than 35 countries.

Media Contact

Geraldine Carroll   Tel. 540.257.3746   gcarroll@projecthope.org