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Table of Contents
Year : 2019  |  Volume : 12  |  Issue : 3  |  Page : 144-145

Be Healthy, be mobile: An initiative to improve the quality of life of diabetics in senegal

1 Department of Community Medicine, Member of the Medical Education Unit and Medical Research Unit, Kancheepuram, Tamil Nadu, India
2 Department of Community Medicine, Shri Sathya Sai Medical College and Research Institute, Kancheepuram, Tamil Nadu, India

Date of Web Publication23-Aug-2019

Correspondence Address:
Saurabh RamBihariLal Shrivastava
Department of Community Medicine, Shri Sathya Sai Medical College and Research Institute, Ammapettai Village, Thiruporur, Guduvancherry Main Road, Sembakkam Post, Kancheepuram - 603 108, Tamil Nadu
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/HMJ.HMJ_72_18

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How to cite this article:
Shrivastava SR, Shrivastava PS. Be Healthy, be mobile: An initiative to improve the quality of life of diabetics in senegal. Hamdan Med J 2019;12:144-5

How to cite this URL:
Shrivastava SR, Shrivastava PS. Be Healthy, be mobile: An initiative to improve the quality of life of diabetics in senegal. Hamdan Med J [serial online] 2019 [cited 2020 Sep 20];12:144-5. Available from: http://www.hamdanjournal.org/text.asp?2019/12/3/144/246131

Dear Editor,

Diabetes is a chronic disease associated with major complications that significantly impair the quality of life of an affected individual.[1] The available global estimates suggest that the prevalence of diabetes in adults has almost doubled in 2014 when compared with the estimates of 1980.[1] In fact, it is quite alarming that the majority of the cases are from low- and middle-income nations.[1],[2] Further, in 2015 alone, more than 1.5 million diabetes-attributed deaths have been reported worldwide.[1]

Poorly controlled diabetes augments the risk of debilitating and costly complications, which tends to pose an immense burden on the individual, family and society.[1],[2] To support the nations and to strengthen the surveillance-, prevention- and control-related activities of the disease, the World Health Organization has developed guidelines for the disease prevention, established norms for its diagnosis and provision of care, implemented measures to create awareness about the disease and strengthened surveillance to detect the disease and potential risk factors (viz. obesity, physical inactivity, poor dietary habits, and tobacco abuse).[1],[3],[4]

Even though a wide range of interventions has been tried to improve the existing scenario, the health stakeholders have failed to minimise the incidence of the disease.[1],[4] Considering the wide availability of mobile phones, and definitive instances of merits associated with the mobile-based applications in improving the health conditions in the heterogeneous settings, a similar app has been employed for the control of diabetes.[4] Mobile phones aid in the prevention or management of the disease by providing useful tips about risk factors and tips for better management and for reminding them to identify signs of complications.[2],[3]

As a matter of fact, the WHO in collaboration with its telecommunication partner has initiated 'Be He@lthy, Be Mobile' initiative, a mobile-based application in Senegal since 2013.[4] The available figures from the nation indicate that more than 0.13 million diabetics are living in 2017.[5] This initiative not only aids in controlling diabetes but many other lifestyle diseases and also allows implementing prevention- and management-related services on a large scale.[4] The recent estimates reflect that close to 0.17 million diabetics have registered with the app since its launch in the nation.[5] In this mDiabetes initiative, short message service is sent to advise patients about different aspects of the disease (including treatment regimen) so as to enable them to lead a longer and healthier life.[3],[4] The sent messages are passed in a simple and action-oriented way so that it can be easily incorporated into the daily routine of the patients.[4] The findings of a study done to evaluate the effectiveness of the app indicated that a significant improvement in the blood sugar control (as measured by the glycosylated haemoglobin levels) has been observed.[5]

In addition, it is a crucial step to empower patients as they understand the importance of the correct information at the appropriate time, and they can take decisions for their condition.[4] Further, the initiative allows family members to get actively involved in the care of the patient.[4] The initiative in the nation has delivered encouraging results, and based on the gains made, it has even been started in India and Egypt for the benefit of thousands of people with diabetes.[4] Considering the significant role played in the control of the disease, additional features such as incorporating all the features of self-care in diabetes can be incorporated for comprehensive control. Further, as Islam is the most common religion followed in the nation, additional feature of controlling sugar levels during the fasting period will be of great utility.[6]

To conclude, diabetes continues to be a serious public health challenge on the global front, and thus, employment of a mobile-based application can play an extremely important role in minimising the incidence of the disease and the associated complications.

Financial support and sponsorship


Conflicts of interest

There are no conflicts of interest.

  References Top

World Health Organization. Diabetes-Fact Sheet No 312; 2017. Available from: http://www.who.int/mediacentre/factsheets/fs312/en/. [Last accessed on 2018 Aug 09].  Back to cited text no. 1
Shrivastava SR, Shrivastava PS, Ramasamy J. Preparing the world to meet diabetes-related needs of the refugee population. J Res Med Sci 2016;21:60.  Back to cited text no. 2
  [Full text]  
Shrivastava SR, Shrivastava PS, Ramasamy J. Adopting mobile technology to improve maternal care in rural and low-resource settings. Ann Trop Med Public Health 2017;10:266-7.  Back to cited text no. 3
  [Full text]  
World Health Organization. Treating Diabetes Takes More than Insulin: Senegal Mobile Phone Project Promoting Public Health; 2017. Available from: http://www.who.int/features/2017/senegal-mobile-diabetes/en/. [Last accessed on 2018 Aug 09].  Back to cited text no. 4
Wargny M, Kleinebreil L, Diop SN, Ndour-Mbaye M, Ba M, Balkau B, et al. SMS-based intervention in type 2 diabetes: Clinical trial in Senegal. BMJ Innov 2018;4:142-6.  Back to cited text no. 5
Ali S, Davies MJ, Brady EM, Gray LJ, Khunti K, Beshyah SA, et al. Guidelines for managing diabetes in Ramadan. Diabet Med 2016;33:1315-29.  Back to cited text no. 6


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