AGD

Diabetics: are we alone?

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We share the message of Salvatore Santoro, President of the Association for Aid to Young Diabetics of Bologna – AGD, in which he takes stock of this year 2020 that is about to end and traces the lines of development for the upcoming new year.

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Our Region, Emilia-Romagna, established in 1970, has celebrated its fifty-year anniversary in 2020 and we have remembered this important milestone and are living it with one of the most terrible experiences for humanity of this new century and millennium: a pandemic that is putting a strain on the health, economic and social stability of our country and our region, as well as of the whole planet. The pandemic has touched and is touching the entire regional territory which, due to its structure, system and vocation, maintains a social and health care network that is not centralized but decentralized on the territory thanks to its health centers and outpatient clinics, and the constant synergy between general practitioners , pediatricians and specialists. And the demand for health and healthcare must be guaranteed and given through continuity of care without failing to treat the many sick people who live with chronic and oncological diseases.

We must be aware that this pandemic is sending us a strong and clear message: we must strengthen and weld an effective and efficient alliance between scientific research, clinical practice, social and health assistance and the third sector (voluntary service), to ensure that every useful tool to provide a timely framework in diagnostics and therapy and on the epidemiological evolution of acute and chronic pathologies as well as the traceability of communicable diseases is available in a short time.

Our Region was the first to give life to the Electronic Health Record, the tool that not only reports the delivery of diagnostic and pharmacological prescriptions, but the data and health history of every single citizen residing in our area: it is not enough. It is necessary to use the innovation offered by “digital health” to spread it in every medical and health center in the area: to allow the full use and use of Big Data structured for groups and pathologies, implementing the use of Artificial Intelligence to support diagnostics and patient care combined with telemedicine and telemonitoring.

Teaming up in every sector and field means working to avert and prevent pandemic phenomena and social diseases such as type 2 diabetes, which are assuming enormous dimensions with increasingly heavy loads and which jeopardize the stability of the entire system. Type 1 diabetes is also growing at alarming rates in childhood. What to do then? In addition to having an integrated network between clinic and territory, retraining in terms of human and instrumental resources, the reference structures (such as the Reference Center for Pediatric Diabetology of the Sant’Orsola Polyclinic) and investing in scientific research to defeat diabetes, making the most of the best resources available in our Region, with a particular emphasis: the new IRCSS recognized at the Sant’Orsola Polyclinic offers a center of world excellence at the endocrinological level (according to the new ranking drawn up by the prestigious weekly Newsweek), these structures together to the regional university network are able to develop a network of knowledge capable of providing an adequate response to the research question.

Given the pandemic and beyond and many illustrious doctors and scientists speak of the school doctor nurse. school. The role and the great skills of community pediatrics and nurses in Bologna. Speaking of demedicalization (a very ugly privative rather than inclusive neologism) is not correct given the needs at school of so many children with different pathologies and the many associations that defend their rights.

Other than demedicalization! It takes more humanity and solidarity, starting from school and starting from the family to help diabetics who need not to be alone, not to feel alone and abandoned.

Finally, there is no need to invoke demedicalization because it has been present in the facts for at least 20 years with constant and continuous cuts to health and social and educational assistance, the lack of specialist medical staff. And today, with the pandemic, we are paying the consequences, mistrust of health care and research has increased and phenomena such as no vax and freedom of treatment (which rely on treatments that are not based on scientific evidence) have increased

To conclude, AGD Bologna, a virtuous and solid example of volunteering for children with diabetes and not only, has presented a very interesting contribution precisely to weave a fruitful path in the field of research, and such as to be able to support health teams both in this difficult phase of our history as in any other moment

Diabetes is not a trivial disease: it is a systemic and complex condition that requires adequate preparation, education and knowledge. Being aware of this is the basis for an optimal start and to continue life at its best.

I would like to wish you all a Merry Christmas and a happy, best New Year 2021, in my name, of the Board of AGD and of all our volunteers, doctors and health workers.

Salvatore Santoro

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