“We consider the Global Diabetes Walk as the starting point of our annual events to improve diabetes awareness on World Diabetes Day,” says Feng Ning who is one of the Walk coordinators. The plan is to organise a number of activities for promoting diabetes prevention on this day. The activities will include walking, distributing diabetes risk score cards and broadcasting diabetes prevention messages in the media. The events will be organised in partnership with the Qingdao Municipal Centres for Disease Prevention and Control as well as the local centres in each targeted region.
Increasing diabetes awareness in the Qingdao region
In Qingdao, diabetes is generally considered as a disease related to high blood sugar level. Thanks to the consistent work done by Qingdao Diabetes Prevention, part of the population knows that ageing, obesity, hypertension, smoking, physical inactivity and family history of diabetes are the major risk factors.
In 2005, the Qingdao Diabetes Prevention programme was launched with support from the World Diabetes Foundation. The major goal of the programme was to increase awareness and inform about the risk factors of diabetes in the Qingdao region. Thousands of diabetes education booklets and risk-score sheets have been distributed to the residents so far.
Diabetes awareness has increased significantly during the past few years after the campaign. A survey about participants’ knowledge about the risk factors for diabetes documents this. In 2006, 38% of urban participants and 21% of rural participants recognised obesity, family history of diabetes and physical inactivity as the major risk factors of diabetes. In 2009, the numbers had risen to 81% and 57% respectively.
Diabetes rate in Qingdao higher than the average in China
The prevalence of diabetes, pre-diabetes and obesity in Qingdao is relatively higher than the average of the Chinese population, which was estimated at 11,6% by the Journal of the American Medical Association, 2013. According to Mr Feng Ning the data from Qingdao Diabetes Survey 2006 showed that the prevalence of type 2 diabetes was 14.3% in rural areas and 18% in urban areas.