Diabetes at School Program
Raising awareness and enhancing type 1 diabetes early diagnosis in school age children, reinforced by a permanent educational resource on diabetes and obesity created for students, teachers, school personnel and students.
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Diabetes at School Program has three main objectives:
- Improve the quality of school life for children w/ diabetes: Improve diabetes care in diabetic school-aged children and to solve their problems.
- Prevention: Create a healthy attitude towards food and nutrition and to raise awareness about obesity.
- Disease Awareness: Raise awareness about diabetes through schools and in this way to improve early diagnosis in school-aged children with type 1 diabetes.
What are the health needs and challenges?
There are around 20,000 children with diabetes in Turkey who are mostly at school ages. In addition to this, approximately 1700 new children are diagnosed each year. Children with diabetes suffer a variety of problems in school, such as being kept off physical education and school trips. Yet, all children deserve the same educational opportunities. A lot of this responsibility falls on the teachers. Educating teachers about diabetes is an essential step that will reduce the problems faced by children with diabetes in school and improve their quality of life. In addition, teachers might help ensure an early diagnosis before the disease advances.
Partnership activities and how they address needs and challenges
Diabetes at School Program is being implemented in cooperation with Turkish Society of Pediatric Endocrinology and Diabetes, Turkish Ministry of Health, Turkish Ministry of National Education and supported unconditionally by Sanofi. Diabetes at School raises awareness about diabetes among students, parents, teachers and school personnel and improve the quality of children with diabetes at schools. The project also aims to create a healthy attitude towards food and nutrition to raise awareness about childhood obesity.
Results and milestones
Between 2010-2022 the main milestones included:
Awareness raising in schools by displaying posters in 60,000 schools nationwide. In addition, Pediatric endocrinology units sent letters explaining diabetes care to teachers.
A one-day training conference attended by 300 people took place in Ankara. This conference allowed preparing school seminars such as the Nationwide Educations in Schools program and a Digital Education Platform, a website (www.okuldadiyabet.org) which was created to provide easy access to educational documents for the 60,000 schools in 81 municipalities.
“Teacher Makes Difference” award, 142 applications submitted and 8 teachers were awarded
The Ministry of Education revised the circular on Diabetic Children in 2013, to extend its scope to school administrators, teachers, parents and school bus drivers and circulated to 60.000 schools
In 2014, a public spot allowed to create awareness in the general public on Type I diabetes and diabetes at school.
The program was included in the National Diabetes Control Program.
Recognition of Diabetic Schools by an acknowledgment certificate to the teachers and to schools who are influencer in diagnosing children with diabetes.
In 2015, project raised enough awareness and the state body that responsible for large scale school examinations changed the regulations and rules in favor of students with diabetes. Since 2015, during the nation wide examinations children with diabetes can bring their snacks to the exams and use toilets several times.
In 2016, a special circular published by the Ministry of National Education to change the canteen regulations at schools. Thanks to the project, since 2016, products with high sugar contents are banned from school canteens.
Since 2016, interactive face to face training conferences allow to raise awareness on diabetes and obesity among families, healthcare professionals and teachers. These conferences are taking place in different parts of Turkey mainly focusing on underserved populations (Gaziantep, Adana, Samsun, Eskişehir, Bursa, İstanbul, Ankara, İzmir and Afyon) Each conference is gathering 350-400 participants.
The program has had a great contribution in terms of raising awareness and enhancing type 1 diabetes early diagnosis in school age children, reinforced by a permanent educational resource on diabetes and obesity created for teachers and students. As a result, program led to diagnosis of various school-aged children with diabetes in Turkey.
The Diabetes at School in Turkey Program has been a great success and its scope has continuously increased both geographically and in terms of targets and it is one of the good example of collaboration between various actors. The Ministry of National Education, teachers and school officials, public have been made aware of the problems children with diabetes face every day.
The program reached;
- 60.000 schools
- 7,5 million students
- 585.000 teachers
- 580.000 parents
- Non-communicable Diseases
SGDs the partnership contributes to
- 3.4: NCDs (including mental health)
- 3.8: Achieve universal health coverage
Ministry of Education Turkey
Ministry of Health Turkey
Turkish Society of Pediatric Endocrinology and Diabetes
Introductory program video that presents the program, Public advertorial spot that was broadcasted on TVs, Ministry of Education website, official program site (only in Turkish), Project Presentation
- Type 1
- Type 2