Leicester diabetes management programme to get Africa roll out

Posted by ap507 at May 05, 2017 09:30 AM |
Leading type 2 diabetes management programme developed by a team including researchers from the University of Leicester is going global

Issued by the University of Leicester Press Office on 5 May 2017

A leading type 2 diabetes management programme which was developed by a team including researchers from the University of Leicester is going global.

The Diabetes Education and Self-Management for Ongoing and Newly Diagnosed (DESMOND) programme is to be rolled out in Malawi and Mozambique.

The initiative, which is based around physical activity and healthy lifestyle changes, will be adapted to help those with type 2 diabetes in the sub-saharan African countries.

Dr Emer Brady, from the University of Leicester and the NIHR Leicester Biomedical Research Centre (BRC), said: “The prevalence of type 2 diabetes in Mozambique and Malawi currently sits at 4.6 per cent and 4.3 per cent respectively. In both countries one in five people are overweight.

“Although countries have fully implemented national diabetes guidelines, access to care and availability of basic medicines and procedures are generally poor. With 98 per cent of diabetes care being the responsibility of the patient they need to be well-informed and skilled to do so, which is why we want to help.”

Teams from the NIHR BRC and the Leicester Diabetes Centre (LDC) will travel to Africa to train educators about how to deliver the DESMOND programme, which will be culturally and linguistically adapted for the local diabetes population.

Dr Brady added: “By educating people about how to better manage their condition, we firmly believe we can help ease the burden of the condition and improve quality of life.

“The legacy of this work is important and that is why, for example, we will be training local healthcare professionals to be able train others in delivering this education. We will also be working together to develop further research initiatives, that will ultimately improve the health future of generations to come.”

The progress of DESMOND in Africa will be monitored and form part of a study which will be published at the end of the work. The number of people who participate and their diabetes control will all be collected as part of the final data.

Principal investigator Professor Melanie Davies, who is the Director of the Leicester BRC as well as a Professor of Diabetes Medicine at the University of Leicester, said: “Mozambique and Malawi are countries that have undergone increasing urbanization, which has led to an associated lifestyle shift.

“The population has moved from a relatively healthy traditional pattern, to increased food quantity, low levels of exercise, smoking and increased alcohol intake, which is driving the rising epidemic of chronic non-communicable diseases with type 2 diabetes at the forefront.

“We’ve already proven that structured education works by improving health outcomes for people and that it is a cost-effective approach. An educated and empowered patient can work more effectively with their doctor to improve and maintain better control of their condition.”

Research has shown that DESMOND improves well-being, adherence to medication, and weight loss.

The programme is currently delivered in over 100 sites in the UK and is also used in Southern Ireland, Australia and Qatar. However, this is the first time it will be rolled out in low-to-middle income countries.  

The work, which is being part funded by the Medical Research Council, will also involve the team developing a tool for other clinicians who may want to use DESMOND for a different population.

The NIHR BRC undertakes translational clinical research in priority areas of high disease burden and clinical need.

Notes to editors

  • For further details, to arrange an interview or more photographs, email or Fiona.bailey@ojpr.co.uk or call 0781 3988 247 or 01604 882342.
  • Website: http://www.ll.dlpa.bru.nihr.ac.uk
  • The National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) is funded by the Department of Health to improve the health and wealth of the nation through research. The NIHR is the research arm of the NHS. Since its establishment in April 2006, the NIHR has transformed research in the NHS. It has increased the volume of applied health research for the benefit of patients and the public, driven faster translation of basic science discoveries into tangible benefits for patients and the economy, and developed and supported the people who conduct and contribute to applied health research. The NIHR plays a key role in the Government’s strategy for economic growth, attracting investment by the life-sciences industries through its world-class infrastructure for health research. Together, the NIHR people, programmes, centres of excellence and systems represent the most integrated health research system in the world. For further information, visit http://www.nihr.ac.uk.


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