Forging Access to Improved Results of Diabetes Care for Minorities (FAIR)
Among those who face the lowest access to diabetes care are disadvantaged communities and vulnerable population groups such as low-income groups in emerging economies, migrants in developed countries, and children. While globalisation drives economic change and development, it also challenges the healthy development of the world. About 400 to 500 million people in the world today are migrants and they face significant barriers to accessing healthcare, according to Dr Manuel Carballo, Executive Director of the International Centre for Migration and Health (ICMH). They are also at greater risk for chronic diseases due to transition to unfamiliar and often unhealthier lifestyles.
Addressing health and healthy development among disadvantaged communities and population groups in the world will impact positively on the global poverty gap. While globalisation has furthered world economic growth and decreased absolute poverty, the poverty gap is still widening and so is the access to health gap between people. With ill health and poverty reinforcing each other negatively, the global burden of disease today poses a threat to economic development and the attainment of the Millennium Development Goals.
The Novo Nordisk National Changing Diabetes Programmes 2nd generation; Forging Access to Improved Results of Diabetes Care for Minorities Programme (FAIR) works to address these gaps in diabetes care. The aim is to identify specific obstacles for access to diabetes care and how to overcome these obstacles in targeted subgroups of a given population. The subgroup can be of ethnic origin, belong to a different religion or culture, be in a low-income group, or belong to a certain age group.
The second Grand Symposium was arranged in May 2008, and the theme was ‘Implementing solutions for treatment of diabetes in minority groups’. The symposium showed that a number of well-documented initiatives on how to provide this integration already exist. The challenge lies in collecting the knowledge and evidence. Consequently, the goal is to develop a model for providing culturally sensitive diabetes treatment for minorities, in order to gain better levels of diagnosis, better care and a delay or lower levels of late-stage complications.
The symposium agreed on a number of future activities, including an extensive mapping exercise to locate best practices and evidence of care models in Europe, with the goal of identifying areas lacking in research. Inviting a number of relevant NGOs will be an important part of this process.
Pending the outcome of this work, it is hoped that a strong case for improving the access and quality of treatment for minorities can subsequently be built into recommendations such as the national diabetes programmes and guidelines for diabetes care. The future work will proceed in corporation with NGOs in the area.