- Providing a fun and adventurous atmosphere in a comfortable and safe environment under medical supervision.
- Providing the family with time off from daily demands to focus on the treatment of diabetes.
- Providing children with the opportunity to develop self-confidence and rely on themselves to cope with the disease.
- Giving them the opportunity to meet children with the same disease.
The camp also aims to create a balance between insulin doses and the amount of activity and food intake so that blood sugar levels remain within safe limits.
Dr. Abdulaziz Al-Twaim, consultant and head of the pediatric endocrinology and diabetes unit in King Abdulaziz Medical City- Jeddah appreciates the efforts given by Dr. Bandar Al Knawy, the CEO of the National Guard Health Affairs and the President of King Saud bin Abdulaziz University for Health Sciences, to support this awareness program.
Dr. Naila Felimban, a consultant in pediatric endocrinology and diabetes and the chairman of the organizing committee for this camp, said that diabetes is considered a chronic diseases that is associated with abnormally high levels of sugar in the blood; it affects both adults and children. Also, if not controlled, diabetes might lead to several complications in addition to other diseases.
King Abdulaziz Medical City-Jeddah in collaboration with hospitals had organized the 1st diabetes summer camp last year, and was represented by medical doctors and a patient educator. The camp brought together 27 girls from the ages of 8–15 years old who were suffering from type 1 diabetes and were receiving insulin therapy, either through a pump or injections.
The results last year were very promising as all the girls were able to administer the injections themselves. Also, the girls were interested in learning more about insulin types, such as the pump. Furthermore, the children learned about the importance of sports and food and how they can impact blood sugar. It is worth noting that around 80% of the participants were able to reduce their daily doses of insulin through monitoring diet and increasing physical activities. Thus the success of the 1st camp was a motivation to set up another summer camp this year.
Mrs. Eman Al-Agel, a patient educator and the diabetes committee coordinator in KACM-J said: “The awareness and education is now a local and a global strategy that the National Guard Health Affairs is greatly focusing on.”
Health education for diabetic patients has an important role in treating and preventing complications. Field and medical studies have shown that public awareness through health programs and summer camps will contribute significantly in reducing complications. Also, health education is a part of the primary health care that aims to improve the health behavior of individuals. It utilizes a series of educational activities to improve the health behavior of individuals, families and communities and to help them adopt health-promoting behaviors. Moreover, it was confirmed that preventive responses are cost effective and have greater values than high-cost therapeutic responses.