Tbilisi, Georgia. “About 3.3% of our population has diabetes. Diabetes care should be one of the priorities in this country, however, at the moment there is little focus on the issue,” says Khatia Khatiashvili who is responsible for the Walk. Although the population in Georgia is aware of diabetes prevention and its risk factors, they do not perceive the disease as a serious problem,” she says.
Reaching a large audience by word of mouth
The aim of the walk is to show support to people with diabetes and to raise awareness, not only among the general public, but also among health care professionals. Informative flyers for further educational purposes in the field will be distributed during the Walk. It is said that in Georgia word of mouth is the best way to reach a large audience. So, even though the person getting the flyer doesn’t have diabetes, he or she is likely to pass the information on to a relative or a neighbour in need.
With the WDF-supported project “Diabetes Prevention and Care Improvement” the Welfare Foundation has established nine diabetes patient centres in four regions of Georgia. They have developed an educational program with materials and tools for people living with diabetes, their family members and caregivers. 58 doctors, 14 nurses and 5 other health workers have been trained. Trainings for general practitioners and diabetes patients are held in the 9 diabetes patient centres. About 1,600 patients and their family members have attended the training and about 1,500 people have been screened for diabetes so far.