CAIRO: The Egyptian Society for Diabetes Care (ESCD) joined forces with the European Hospital Georges Pompidou in France last week to renovate the organization’s website sukarmazboot.com.
ESCD signed an agreement with the hospital at the French Embassy in the attendance of Professor Jean-Jacques Altman, head of the hospital’s Diabetology Department, and the French Ambassador to Egypt Jean-Felix Paganon.
Experts highlighted two main problems facing diabetics in Egypt; the supply of drugs and awareness about the disease.
“The NGO [ESCD] supplements the role of the government by educating patients but does not eliminate it, said Neuropsychiatry Professor Hashem Bahary.
“We want people to know, said Laila El-Sioufi, ESCD chairman of the board, explaining that the NGO’s mission is to inform people. Accordingly, the NGO developed the hotline “Alo Sukar Mazboot, which was developed in partnership with the Italian Parma University.
The hotline receives 2,000 calls per month. The NGO is set to study and analyze the calls further in order to come up with better ways to help patients.
While up to 10 percent of the Egyptian population suffers from diabetes, little attention is given to the disease and its ill effects.
“In France, we use technologies to push treatment through a distance, said Altman. He explained that e-mail is used to facilitate communication between patients and doctors instead of meeting every two months.
The hospital communicates with patients through a website, the professor explained, that provides information about diabetes with regards to its causes and diagnosis.
“However, we use motivational language to give patients hope, he said.
“By 2010, there will be approximately 5 million diabetics in Egypt, in addition to 2.2 million pre diabetes patients, said Professor Morsi Arab, former chairman of the International Diabetes Federation Eastern Mediterranean and Middle-East (EMME) region.
He added that by 2030, given the increase in the region’s population, there will be approximately 56 million patients.
“The first step to get rid of diabetes is to increase physical activity and then to eat better, Altman.
Magdy Nazih, a nutritionist, emphasized that Egyptians’ eating habits have altered, instead of consuming an average of 1,800 calories, people today exceed 3,200 calories a day.
The unhealthy habits have made Egyptians more susceptible to diabetes at earlier stages in their lives, he said.