|LETTER TO THE EDITOR
|Year : 2022 | Volume
| Issue : 2 | Page : 187
Diabetes prevention through religious leaders
Bishwajit Bhowmik1, Tasnima Siddiquee1, Akhtar Hussain2, A K Azad Khan1
1 Centre for Global Health Research, Diabetic Association of Bangladesh, Bangladesh, India
2 Faculty of Health Sciences, Nord University, Bodø 8049, Norway, International Diabetes Federation (IDF), 166 Chaussee de La Hulpe, B - 1170 Brussels, Belgium & Centre for Global Health Research, Diabetic Association of Bangladesh, India
|Date of Submission||22-Apr-2022|
|Date of Decision||27-Apr-2022|
|Date of Acceptance||28-Apr-2022|
|Date of Web Publication||21-Jul-2022|
Dr. Bishwajit Bhowmik
Centre for Global Health Research, Diabetic Association of Bangladesh, 122 Kazi Nazrul Avenue, Shahbagh, Dhaka-1000, Bangladesh
Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None
|How to cite this article:|
Bhowmik B, Siddiquee T, Hussain A, Khan AA. Diabetes prevention through religious leaders. J Diabetol 2022;13:187
You may be pleased to learn that the Diabetic Association of Bangladesh (BADAS) is conducting an innovative prevention program “Prevention of Diabetes through Religious Leaders” in creating community awareness about the prevention of diabetes and other non-communicable diseases (NCDs). World Diabetes Foundation funded this initiative. The objectives of the program are 1) to organize a training program on a healthy lifestyle for the prevention and care of diabetes and other NCDs for religious leaders (Imams), 2) to introduce diabetes corners in religious places (Mosques)- at least one in every Upazila (lowest health administrative area of Bangladesh), and 3) to improve community awareness on healthy lifestyle through religious leaders.
A total of 100 Imams from 100 Upazilas of Bangladesh received training and introduced diabetes corners in 100 Mosques located in these Upazilas. We will introduce corners in the remaining 394 Upozilias in the next 2 years. The program has developed a religious sermon (Khutbah) on a healthy lifestyle in Bangla, Arabic, and English. We also took voiceover for its wider uses. Ministry of Religious Affairs and the Ministry of Health and Family Affairs have already endorsed this program and also the Khutbah for its nationwide application.
The trained Imams advocate, promote, and encourage a healthy lifestyle through religious sermons during congregation prayer. Besides the awareness activities, they run the diabetes corner. All corners have screening facilities (including diabetes, hypertension, and nutritional status), digital record keeping, and referral networks with Government Upazila NCD corners and BADAS centers and hospitals. Initially, one (1) glucometer with 500 strips, 500 needles and 500 alcohol pads, one height and weighing machine, one blood pressure machine, one measuring tape, and one (1) tablet PC were given to each religious leader. They also use a mobile app for collecting clients’ sociodemographic, anthropometric, clinical, biochemical, and financial information. These diabetes corners also connect with the Nationwide Diabetes Registry of BADAS. It makes easier to follow the centers. Fifty thousand people have already received screening and education services from these corners. Around five million general people also received information on healthy lifestyle. In addition, a total of three hundred thousand mosques have also been connected under this program for circulating these prevention messages throughout the country. Around twenty million people are connected through this network. We launched a service package for the sustainability of the project. The Imams usually charge half a dollar from people for screening. They earn about 90–120 USD per month and sustain their living besides assisting in the fight against diabetes. This is expected to inspire them to get involved in many other similar programs that may reduce poverty and thereby uplift the living standard of the society in Bangladesh as a whole.
Imam training is not new in Bangladesh, but a religious message related to diabetes prevention and prevention through health centers in Mosque is relatively new. This prevention program will help expand diabetes care and prevention to the community level, generate data, and help to achieve sustainable development goals (SDGs).
Financial support and sponsorship
World Diabetes Foundation (WDF17-1552).
Conflicts of interest
There are no conflicts of interest.
| References|| |
Diabetes Prevention through Religious Leaders Project of BADAS. Available from: https://cghr-badas.org/imam/
. [Last accessed on 2022 Mar 20].
Hussain A, Aaré LE, Kvaêle G Impact of a health education program to promote consumption of vitamin A rich foods in Bangladesh. Health Promotion International 1997;2:103-9.
Sustainable Development Goals - The United Nations. Available from: https://sdgs.un.org/
. [Last accessed on 2022 Mar 20].