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How Do The Underprivileged in Lebanon Deal with Diabetes

For underprivileged diabetics here in Lebanon, living in below-average conditions and possibly deprived of some of their basic needs, diabetes can be harder to manage. According to the UNDP, the poverty rate in Lebanon has increased up to 32% since 2011. In parallel, there were 464,200 cases of diabetes in Lebanon in 2015 as stated by the IDF, and this number is continually increasing no doubt.

· Diabetes Solutions

Challenges faced by underprivileged diabetics in Lebanon

Diabetes is a serious condition that doesn’t only leave its impact on health, but also on the finances of the household which one or more of its members have diabetes.
One of the problems that the disadvantaged diabetics face is that, unfortunately, only employees and their families and university students can be enrolled in the CNSS here in Lebanon, which leaves out the other segment of underprivileged diabetics with no access to enough medication and medical equipment needed to manage their illness because they can be too expensive for them.

Furthermore, they are not able to pay the needed visits to healthcare providers which means that they won’t be receiving the proper education about their case and how to successfully deal with it in order to prevent later complications of high blood glucose levels, nor do the routine checkups and laboratory tests to monitor their health status as often as they should (HbA1C%, lipid profile, etc…) because they would rather spend their money on what they consider to be more basic and essential.
Their low economic status might even affect their diet and lifestyle, two important keys in diabetes management, since “healthy food” or foods that are considered lighter or made with less or no sugar are less affordable than regular food items, and most of the physical activities require paid membership.

Luckily, there are several facilities that attenuate this problem, like Chronic Care Center which provides in-depth education about diabetes and counseling for type 1 diabetics, free of charge (we will be covering it in more details in a later blog), in addition to some local dispensaries that may offer medication and doctor appointments for free or at lower prices than pharmacies and private clinics.

However, the burden of diabetes is increasing day after day, and even those services may not be enough to cover the high demands of diabetes which calls for more campaigns that shed light on this pressing issue and convenient and easily-accessible tools that help people with diabetes live better with their condition and making diabetes management, less diabetic.

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Written by Hiba Ayoubi

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