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Russian Public Chamber Discusses Role of Public Awareness in Preventing and Treating Diabetes

27 February 2020
Роль информированности общества в профилактике и лечении сахарного диабета обсудили в Общественной палате Российской Федерации

The Public Chamber of the Russian Federation hosted a roundtable in Moscow titled ‘Diabetes: The Role of Public Awareness in Prevention and Treatment’. The event was attended by Russian Deputy Minister of Health Oleg Salagay, Chairman of the Russian Society of Young Endocrinologists Patimat Khandayeva, Senior Research Associate in the Department of Epidemiology and the State Register of Diabetes at the Russian Ministry of Health Anna Zheleznyakova, and Senior Research Associate in the Diabetic Foot Department of National Medical Endocrinology Research Centre at the Russian Ministry of Health Yekaterina Zaytseva, among others. The roundtable was organized by the Content Foundation for the Development of Expert and Analytical Activities, with the support of the Roscongress Foundation, the Russian Association for the Promotion of Science, and the Public Chamber of the Russian Federation, with the support of the Russian Society of Young Endocrinologists.

According to the WHO global diabetes report, Russia ranks among the top five countries in the world in terms of the number of people with diabetes. The number of patients with diabetes in Russia has increased by 23% over five years, according to the Ministry of Health. The biggest challenge in combatting diabetes is its lack of symptoms. One in four Russians has a risk of developing diabetes or is already inflicted with it, while 50% of people with diabetes are not aware of this fact.

«Diabetes is a global problem and our country is no exception. Each year, 350,000 Russians are diagnosed with the disease and such indicators require urgent measures. We have achieved major success over the years that we have been combatting diabetes. The life expectancy of men with diabetes has increased by 20 years from 1987 until the present day. The number of complications has significantly decreased. One of the main problems and difficulties in fighting the disease is the lack of symptoms in the early stages. As part of diabetes control programmes, it is important to develop projects not only in clinical medicine, but also in public health. It is essential to introduce a culture of a healthy and active lifestyle and proper nutrition. A person should be motivated to maintain their own active longevity. And it is very important that we are discussing such a serious, socially significant disease among young professionals today. The health of our society in the near future largely depends on the actions of the new generation», Salagay said.

The roundtable participants devoted particular attention to the development of gestational diabetes, which occurs during pregnancy. «During pregnancy, any increase in blood glucose should be constantly monitored. In the event that the target indicators are even slightly exceeded, the consequences can be quite serious for both the mother’s body and the fetus. I urge both expectant mothers and the medical community to pay maximum attention to this issue and monitor blood sugar indicators throughout pregnancy», Khandayeva said.

The government’s strategy for managing diabetes should be based on a systematic public awareness campaign to inform the public about the need for early preventive measures.

«Diabetes is a complex problem that includes both social and cultural aspects. If a person leads an active lifestyle, eats properly, and monitors his/her body mass index, the risk of developing the disease is sharply reduced. It is important to talk about the problem and to engage in outreach activities. The issue of implementing such projects is regularly addressed within the business programme of the ‘Healthy Life’ Area and also at key events of the Roscongress Foundation, including the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum, the Eastern Economic Forum, and others», said Anastasia Stolkova, Head of the Healthy Life project and First Deputy Director for Development at the Roscongress Foundation.

The Content Foundation for the Development of Expert and Analytical Activities was established by the Roscongress Foundation with the aim of laying the foundations for a healthy society and Russia’s sustainable social development. The Foundation organizes industry events, implements educational and awareness-raising programmes, and also provides expert and analytical support.