Diabetes in Indigenous Communities in Canada
It is one of the main public health problems, and it significantly strains the economy of a country. Lack of care and treatment in developing countries brings more complications which in turn poses a higher economic burden. Historically, only type 1 diabetes was believed to be found among young people. However, type 2 diabetes has been increasing in the same group over the last two decades. According to World Health Organization (WHO), of the total diabetes cases, type 1 diabetes accounts for about 5-10 percent unlike for type 2 cases. With correct follow up, individuals can get appropriate treatment regarding their feet whenever symptoms of diabetes are detected. Another program that the organization offers is Spirit program also known as Traditional Knowledge Program (Hansel et al.
It incorporates traditional wisdom and its influences in diabetes education. The program’s goal is to provide education on health and wellness about diabetes which is achieved through various activities such as hosting of social events in the community. The events engage community members in cooking classes, presentations, yoga practices and healthy lifestyles activities. There are also training to the community on specific health and wellness topics. The training offer guidelines to the food habits that are recommended for healthy living. Finally, Spirit program has webinars that provide the community with presentations, seminars, and conferences. In this way, the community can access information wherever they are without physically attending the events. Lastly, IUDC has a Mind program, referred to as Family Wellness program.
When this problem is a link to the traditional issues the indigenous people hold to the hospital, the situation becomes intimidating for them. Some of the past issues that the people feared were the stealing of babies and putting them in a foster system or sterilizing them. In this, the local indigenous should be made aware that things have changed and everyone is currently visiting hospitals. The other barrier to effective diabetes services and care include the fact that the Canadian government ruled not to fund the organization. The decision was made based on the competition that was growing among organizations for the special funds. Information is open to anyone in the world about how to prevent the disease and how to deal with it to those living with diabetes.
Various food habits are discouraged by the organization and in turn, provide information on the best foods that give essential nutrients to the body to avoid calories. Physical exercises are also encouraged to prevent gaining weight by individuals. Another program that IDF has highly emphasized is Care and Prevention. The program aims at providing care and resources to those individuals with diabetes by engaging in activities. Kidney disease is likely to affect those with diabetes compared to those who do not have diabetes. According to data from USA and UK, approximately 40 percent of people who have diabetes are likely to develop chronic kidney disease condition. In this relation to this, it can be concluded that hypertension, diabetes, and kidney failure are closely related disease.
On the same note, one of the causes of kidney failure is diabetes two which as well doubles as the major cause of hypertension. Based on the link between the three diseases, diabetes emerges as the risk factor. Examples include foot care and lifestyle services. Both the local and global organizations have incorporated education into their programs. They have used the social media to pass information to the members of the community as well as globally. However, the local and global organizations are different as both organizations have not embraced some programs. For Example, IDHC has encouraged cultural practices and traditional knowledge in dealing with healthy lifestyles. Knowing that when the problem is the people, then the solution must also be with the people.
Significantly, she relies on the local communities to help break the barriers. The communities are organized in grass root level organizations that lead in awareness and sensitization campaigns. Again, acknowledging that the youths hold the future, they are still energetic and are the majorities making them the best in assisting the change agent for the program. Impacts Made by the Change Agent To achieve the set objectives of the organization, the change agent is crucial in calling for change. Related Initiatives and Projects Importantly, the organization has other ways of ensuring its objective is achieved. The most important means is through the holding of workshops. During such events, the organization takes the opportunity to learn more about diabetes. Further, it during such events that the issues of diabetes are discussed, and people get educated.
The other project is creating a wider awareness through having many health students visiting their community. Moreover, the people living with high blood sugar levels are not aware despite having serious symptoms for example blindness, numbness and shaking. On the same note, people mistake diabetes symptoms for being drunk or on other drugs. Such misinformation leads to other serious problems like stereotyping of the indigenous people as being drunk of their times. In this regard, people from the Northern parts are considered not to have enough access to spiritual care even though there are places that were started by the missionaries and unfortunately the indigenous communities do not go to such hospitals. Lastly, there is the problem of the physicians in the hospitals not having enough time for the diabetes patients some of whom cannot navigate through the system as they find it awkward especially among elders.
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