Braiding Diabetes Education for All

We hope conference attendees will take home the idea of braiding to reflect on sessions they attended, or perhaps wished they attended, maybe there is room for co-braiding?

It was some personal interest I attended the The Role of Open-Access Education in Combating Diabetes & Prediabetes presented to share the Diabetes for All (DEFA) project/site/resource

Diabetes Education For All (DEFA) was established to democratize diabetes education access by providing a comprehensive open-access diabetes portal that includes education and clinical guidance for healthcare professionals, community partners, patients and their caregivers in low income and humanitarian settings.

See full conference description and presentation slides

As a global and a more frequently occuring health challenge, diabetes education materials absolutely should be openly accessible, as DEFA is doing, as well as making content available in local languages.

My own interest is in living with diabetes type 1 myself for 53 years. I was fortunate as a child to have access to training, in wathcing the videos of how to deliver injections, I remember being in the hospital when a nurse demonstrated and had my practice on an orange.

Access and cost issues of getting necessary supplies like insulin is still uneven around the world (I faced exorbitant pricing while self insured in the US, and appreciate the medical coverage I get now in Canada). And the irony is that the isolation of insulin pioneered by Canadian researchers Banting and Best in the early 1920s was put into the public domain, how it became a high priced item is a sad classic tale of enclosure.

I also recalled from the times I lived in Arizona, that the highest rates of diabetes where among the native american communities something like 50% due to the loss of pre-white-settlement ways diets and ways of living – interesting braid site note on looking up this link to find the Enduring Legacies Native Cases from Evergreen State College that are shared teaching resources, though not seeing specific licensing, they seem to be there to be shared “Our collection of cases and teaching notes is open source and includes more than 115 cases that are being used by colleges and high schools across the U.S and overseas.”

In the presentation I did thank them for this work, and acknowledge that the community building aspect is important. I regularly get much support and insight from the FUDiabetes Forum, and open community (running the same discourse software we use here!) that is totally driven by participation.

It’s also worth noting the role of open source solutions created by diabetics themselves, such as Open Artificial Pancreas System project (#OpenAPS) and Dana Lewis’s story of developing her own open source glucose closed monitoring system.

I hope anyone working with public health education and addressing needs to support those affected by diabetes to take a look at Diabetes Education For All.

Braid on your own connections!