Common Beliefs Vs. the Reality of Diabetes Awareness
To mark the World Diabetes Day in 2023, the Integrated Health Services (IHS) project decided to use the voices of citizens and doctors to shed light on diabetes awareness, dispel myths, promote early detection, and inspire positive lifestyle changes.
With cameras in hand, we spoke to people we randomly met in the streets of the cities of Peja and Gjakova, capturing on-screen their thoughts and perceptions regarding diabetes. Having gained a better understanding of the prevalent misconceptions, we launched a comprehensive campaign to raise awareness about diabetes.
A video series was at the heart of this initiative, featuring candid interviews with Kosovo citizens discussing their perceptions of diabetes. Next, the videos touched upon eight critical public statements about the disease, with two doctors responding in detail to each statement, aiming to bridge the gap between reality and expectation.
The concepts assessed through this activity pertained to lifestyle, representing efficient behaviour changes that can prevent the disease or complications stemming from it.
The vox-pop interviews that allowed us to learn about people’s understanding of diabetes. Their honest responses provided a spectrum of beliefs and misconceptions surrounding this chronic disease. Such footage of genuine responses was a crucial resource in shaping the next steps.
To go deeper into the subject, we engaged healthcare professionals at the General Hospitals of Peja and Gjakova. Each doctor responded to four key questions, addressing prevalent myths, and sharing essential information in a language easy to understand by the public. Their perspectives formed the backbone of our effort to provide accurate and reliable insights into diabetes.
Blogging the Basics
In parallel, we disseminated an informative blog, providing answers to frequently asked questions about diabetes. The blog served as a valuable resource for those seeking in-depth information about the disease, covering aspects from its causes to lifestyle choices for prevention.
Championing a Healthier Future
Diabetes, a condition affecting around 8% of the population in Kosovo, often remains a hard-to-grasp condition. Our campaign sought to reveal the misconceptions, the lack of accurate information, while equipping the people of Kosovo with the knowledge needed to make informed decisions about their health. Through this video-and-blog approach, we aim to encourage positive lifestyle changes, dispel myths, contribute to a healthier and better-informed community, and increasing early detection of diabetes by encouraging the individuals’ self-confidence to manage the disease.