Challenges of Free Diabetes Education program

Diabetes Education program comes in different forms today. The media and health institutions conduct different education program or the other to ensure patients living with diabetes live well. However, the challenges abound regarding standardization of the education curricula.
It is unfortunate that while delivering diabetes education in a state hospital, I once witnessed a nurse instructing the patients not to eat any food containing carbohydrate. I asked why, the simple answer was that; somebody with diabetes should not eat any carbohydrate because of sugar. I went further to ask, are you aware that the so-called proteinous foods like beans also contain carbohydrate? she was surprised. I then disclosed my identity as a diabetes educator and a conversation Map Expert Trainer. The important thing to remind patients is that, we advocate use of complex carbohydrate which is a mixture of roughage and fibers to delay the glucose absorption and make insulin work gradually and well.
The challenge of offering diabetes Education is enormous. The person delivering the education will always say that it is a volunteer job he or she is doing. Since there is no remuneration, it is not considered a serious business. But it has always been said that any thing worth doing is worth doing well. Conducting free diabetes education program is faced with a lot of challenges. The diabetes Educator will have to source for writing materials, and sometimes refreshment for the participants to encourage them to attend. When a monetary fee is attached to such education, most people cry out that treatment of diabetes is already expensive, but the cardinal management principle of diabetes rest on education.
The question then arises, should diabetes Education be free or priced and if it should? Who should foot the payment? Is it the patient, or the government? This is a rhetorical question that requires an answer.

The treatment of Ignorance, a deadly disease is Education.

I’ve done a lot of volunteer work in my time. One of the biggest issues I see is that if someone is to be paid, their credentials and ability to do the job well are investigated. If someone is a volunteer, they are more often than not not vetted. The result is, unfortunately, that no matter how well meaning the volunteer is, the program is often not up to par. People also tend not to push volunteers, to demand certain results by a certain time.

I am NOT flaming volunteerism, I’m a strong advocate of it. Just pointing out some of the pitfalls because of mismanagement or no management.

Of course free education would be ideal. However, poor free education is worth nothing. I think if students pay something, even if it’s $1.00, they tend to value what they are getting more than if it’s free. (I know, I’m generalizing.) Who should pay? Good question!

Wish I had received advice to severely limit carbs when I was hospitalized. I’d have welcomed that nurse. Instead, like most everyone with diabetes, I was instructed to eat far too many carbs & to cover it with insulin. Complex carbs or not, carbs are not the route to health for anyone. They are an Rx for hard to control diabetes & obesity, along with unhealthy lipid profiles & heart disease. Humans need few carbs & those should come from low carb vegetable sources & nuts since about 58% of protein is converted to glucose. No one needs to eat beans or starchy vegetables.

Agree that education is critical in a disease that’s about self-management. Without knowledge & the appropriate tools, it’s disastrous. Unfortunately, I’ve found that people rarely value what they receive free. A sliding scale based on ability to pay would be good. In a perfect world, I’d like to see this expense covered by health insurance or the government just as I wish more funds were allocated to prevention, screening & general health education for everyone.