The Civic Chamber of the Russian Federation Discusses Role of Public Awareness in Preventing and Treating Diabetes

A roundtable titled ‘Diabetes: The Role of Public Awareness in Prevention and Treatment’ was held in Moscow at the The Civic Chamber of the Russian Federation. The participants included Oleg Salagay, Deputy Minister of Health of the Russian Federation; Patimat Khandayeva, Chairman of the Russian Society of Young Endocrinologists; Anna Zheleznyakova, Senior Researcher at the Department of Epidemiology and State Register of Diabetes, National Medical Research Centre for Endocrinology under the Ministry of Health of the Russian Federation; Ekaterina Zaytseva, Senior Researcher at the Diabetic Foot Department, National Medical Research Centre of Endocrinology under the Ministry of Health of the Russian Federation and 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 (RASN), the Public Chamber of the Russian Federation and the Russian Young Endocrinologists Society.

The Russian Federation is one of the top five countries in the world in terms of the number of patients who suffer from diabetes, according to the WHO global diabetes report. The number of patients with diabetes has increased by 23% over the last five years in the Russian Federation, according to the Ministry of Health of the Russian Federation. A lack of symptoms of diabetes is the main issue complicating the fight against this disease. Every fourth Russian citizen is either risk of being affected by diabetes or has already had it.

“Today, the issue of diabetes has a global status, and it’s the same in our country as well. About 350,000 Russians are diagnosed with the disease each year, so some urgent measures are needed. We have managed to achieve some great success in combating diabetes over the last few years. It should be mentioned that life expectancy among men with diabetes has increased by 20 years over the period from 1987 until present. The number of complications has decreased significantly. The asymptomatic nature of the disease in its early stages is one of the main problems when combatting it. It is extremely important to develop projects in both clinical medicine and public health as part of diabetes control programmes. In addition, we need to incorporate a culture of healthy and active lifestyle as well as proper nutrition. Each person should be motivated to maintain his/her own active longevity. It’s important that we are discussing such a serious and socially significant disease among young professionals today. Our society’s health largely depends on the actions of the new generation”, Salagay said.

The meeting participants paid special attention to the development of pregnancy diabetes. “Increases in glucose levels in the blood should be constantly monitored during pregnancy. Otherwise, the consequences can be quite serious for both the mother’s body and the fetus if the target indicators are even slightly exceeded. So I urge both expectant mothers and the medical community to pay special attention to this issue and monitor blood sugar levels throughout pregnancy”, Khandayeva said.

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

“The diabetes issue is a complex one, which includes social and cultural aspects as well. The risk of such a disease is sharply reduced when people lead an active lifestyle, eat properly and monitor their body mass index. It is extremely important to talk about this issue and engage in outreach activities. Implementing such projects is regularly addressed as part of the Healthy Life business programme as well as at key events of the Roscongress Foundation, including the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum, the Eastern Economic Forum and others”, said Anastasia Stolkova, First Deputy CEO for Development of the Roscongress Foundation and Director of the Healthy Life project.

The Content Foundation for the Development of Expert and Analytical Activities is an intellectual partner of the Healthy Life project. The Foundation was set up to help create the foundations for a healthy society and Russia’s sustainable social development. The Foundation works on organizing industry events, implementing educational and awareness programmes as well as providing expert and analytical support.