World Diabetes Day

Diabetes is one of the leading causes of death globally 

The prevalence of diabetes is growing at a staggering rate. According to the World Health Organization, over 422 million people worldwide have diabetes – and it is likely to double in the next 20 years. This shocking number is even more troubling when you consider the tragic consequences. 

Every 6 seconds another person will die from diabetes. 

In fact, more people die each year from diabetes than HIV/AIDS and tuberculosis combined. 

The risk of diabetes

Project HOPE is dedicated to reaching vulnerable communities around the world where diabetes prevalence is especially high. Sadly, three quarters of people with diabetes live in low and middle income countries where access to education and treatment is limited. Our work in high-risk areas focus on supporting patient education, health worker training and increasing access to care and medicines to help improve lives and reduce the burden of diabetes deaths. Project HOPE’s programs also support the United Nations Sustainable Development goals, which include reducing by one third premature mortality from noncommunicable diseases through prevention and treatment by 2030.  

Increasing Training and Education Through Web-based Learning

Project HOPE has long been a leader in addressing the rapidly growing risks of noncommunicable diseases worldwide – particularly diabetes, cardiovascular disease and cancer. Through increasing the capacity of health workers to diagnose and treat patients, and by educating and mobilizing communities, Project HOPE works to promote healthy lifestyle practices and improve the overall health and well-being of individuals and families around the world. 

The use of technology and new web-based trainings are allowing us to extend our success even more efficiently. Take Jacob Nji’s story for example. A nurse in Cameroon, Jacob works at the Mbingo Baptist Hospital. The hospital serves a large local population as well as patients who travel from all over the country for care. Diabetes is becoming a larger problem in Cameroon, so the hospital hired Jacob as a diabetes nurse educator.

 “The challenges I face in my community are few diabetes educators, limited resources to meet the needs for diabetes care, no adequate home visits due to lack of transportation or means of communication and there is no full compliance of medicines due to out of pocket costs,” Jacob said. 

"We need the help to train more diabetes educators."

Project HOPE’s groundbreaking online diabetes training program, IDEEL, which was launched in 2013 as a web-based distance learning tool to increase awareness and education, provided the tools Jacob needed to promote diabetes awareness in his community.  

Ready When Disaster Strikes

The immediate aftermath of a natural disaster often presents a wide range of health challenges. Not the least of which is restoring access to lifesaving medicines and medical care for those who suffer from chronic diseases. Project HOPE’s experience in Disaster and Health Crises is focused on identifying gaps in health service delivery and infrastructure and then working to quickly provide care for those affected. The storms in Texas, Florida and Puerto Rico demonstrated once again the impact of a disaster on those suffering with diabetes.

Our medical teams in Puerto Rico encountered many families, children and the elderly in desperate need of medicines and treatment. For example, Nayeli, who was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes at three years old. She is so insulin dependent that she wears a special cellular-based blood monitor that tracks and report levels every five minutes. With cell service destroyed by the storm and no clear timetable on when it will be repaired, Nayeli’s family were facing challenges in keeping her healthy. (Read her story).

We also met Aregelia, living in a remote village that was cut off by the storm, who was out of insulin. “Every day I’ve been depressed thinking how I’m going to get insulin and food.” (Read her story).

In both cases, we provided medical care and supplies. However, on an island where nearly 15 percent of the population has diabetes, they’re far from alone in their struggle.

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