A Cooperation Initiative between the Health Insurance Organization and Lilly Pharmaceuticals for Awareness against Diabetes

Cairo in 29 September 2014- Within the framework of its commitment towards diabetics and the Egyptian society, Lilly Pharmaceuticals launched an initiative, in cooperation with the General Organization for Health Insurance (HIO), to raise awareness on diabetes and its complications and risks.
The campaign aims at sensitization and training of doctors, pharmacists and nursing staff of the HIO on everything that has to do with diabetes; methods of prevention, the health risks incurred, the latest methods of treatment and care for the patients, as well as highlighting the importance of clarifying all facts associated with diabetes to patients to avoid life-threatening complications, most importantly heart disease. 25 trainees have concluded the first training course of the initiative.

Dr. Aly Higazy, CEO of the Health Insurance Organization (HIO) says, “HIO supports initiatives – by both the private and public sectors – aimed at raising awareness of the seriousness of diabetes and ways to prevent it and live with it, in order to benefit patients, help them avoid the serious complications of the disease, and prevent it from affecting their lifestyle.  Cooperation with Lilly Pharmaceuticals comes in the framework of the continuous efforts of HIO to ease the burdens off the shoulders of Egyptian patients who deserves all the care.”

The training courses employ Conversation Maps method in training: a method developed for interactive training by “Healthy Interactions” company in collaboration with IDF and under international auspices for Lilly Pharmaceuticals since 2008.   Conversation Maps is a method based on dialogue between small groups of diabetics or their relatives with the aim of sharing information about the management methods of diabetes that are ideal for patients who look after themselves independently or under the guidance and direction of a physician.

The training includes two types of activities; the first is lectures on diabetes, how to deal with it, complications and treatment methods, and the second is Diabetes Conversation Maps.
Commenting on the launch of the outreach initiative in collaboration with HIO, Mr. Anders Kristnson, General Manager of Lilly Pharmaceuticals – Egypt, “The seriousness of diabetes lies in the health complications that affect the lifestyle of patients, and may lead to serious threats to their lives, this is not to mention the impacts of the growing financial burden on patients and their families. The goal of this initiative, which applies the Conversation Maps method, is to simplify the medical information and deliver it to patients in such a way that helps them manage their health condition, understand and deal with it so as to protect them from serious complications of the disease.  We aim to reach out to the largest possible number of doctors and health providers in HIO hospitals.”

Dr. Samir Hilmi, international health awareness expert and Professor of Diabetes, Lipids and Metabolism at the University of Alexandria, carried out the training using 8 Conversation Maps on diabetes.  About the initiative Dr. Hilmi says, “This training mainly focuses on how to use the interactive tools that help raise the awareness of diabetics regarding handling their cases.  It also works on developing the skills of conversation, persuasion and education so that the nurses can train patients to become partners in decision making and setting up their treatment plans.”

The Conversation Maps are large scale slides with cartoon designs depicting the various details of the daily life of a diabetic.  The 8 maps cover a number of issues: how a person becomes type II diabetic and the effect of the disease on his body, how a type II diabetic can handle the disease and live with it, the complications of type II diabetes and how to avoid them, healthy nutrition for diabetics, type II diabetic starting with insulin, caring for the feet, diabetic children and last but not least, the latest medical advice for diabetics who fast in Ramadan.
The initiative is launched from Cairo as a first stage and is planned to extend to other governorates by next year.  At the end of the program, participants are evaluated through workshops that involve hands-on training.  Last but not least participants were handed certificate upon passing the training course as well as the Maps that they will use when educating their patients and fellow colleagues in the HIO hospitals.

According to the 2013 statistics of the International Diabetes Federation (IDF), diabetes is considered the most prevalent disease in the Middle East and North Africa, where more than 67.9 million people suffer from it.  In Egypt alone, there are more than 7.5 million diabetics, according to the 2013 figures, which makes the disease one of the most prevalent in Egypt.
It is worth mentioning that the Conversation Maps method was launched in more than 121 countries and is currently available in 38 languages.  It is an interactive learning tool designed to help diabetics cope with the disease safely, and to encourage dialogue and discussion about the diabetes risks, the importance of developing a treatment plan to control it, and how to act in case of complications.