This week, the UC Davis Diabetes Advocacy and Awareness Group (DAAG) is hosting Diabetes Awareness Week on campus, bringing students and different organizations together to promote a greater understanding of diabetes.
DAAG, who has been hosting Diabetes Awareness Week for the past two years, specializes in informing the community about diabetes, visiting local schools and talking to kids about the condition. Diabetes cannot be cured, but it can be treated.
“I joined because my dad has diabetes. We all pretty much know someone with diabetes, which brings us together,” said Navid Elie, a fourth-year psychology major and member of DAAG.
The week’s events are centered around World Diabetes Day today.
“The hope [is to get] the campus community to contemplate diabetes — both their own risk for getting the disease, as well as how it affects others around them, including loved ones, neighbors and strangers alike,” said Zuhayr Mallam, a fourth-year neurobiology, physiology and behavior studies major and president of DAAG.
According to the International Diabetes Federation, 78,000 children develop type 1 diabetes every year, and the number of people with type 2 diabetes, which accounts for at least 90 percent of cases of diagnosed diabetes, is increasing in every country around the world.
This week DAAG will be collaborating with other health and service-oriented organizations to inform students and address the different dimensions of diabetes.
“The goal is to raise understanding of what sufferers of diabetes go through and what can be done in terms of prevention [for] type 2 and early detection/management [for] type 1,” Mallam said. “We contacted many groups to see if they were interested, and then worked with them to host an event that highlights their unique perspectives.”
The Pre-Med Student Osteopathic Medical Association will be explaining what osteopathic physicians have to offer in terms of diabetes treatment. Clinica Tepati and Chican@s/Latin@s in Health Education will use their experience treating patients at clinics to conduct free blood glucose checks. Imani Clinic will be hosting a table with trivia about diabetes management, stemming from their chronic illness counseling and education program. The UC Davis Pre-Med American Medical Student Association (AMSA) will also be involved in the week’s events.
“We were really excited to get involved. Every pre-med student should be aware of diabetes,” said Tamanna Noyon, president of UC Davis AMSA. “There is some lack of awareness among young people, mainly because we are still in college and we don’t think about the future, but it’s important for us to make healthy choices now.”
Information about diabetes and living a healthy lifestyle, along with games and prizes, will be available at the Memorial Union (MU) and Silo tables today from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Free blood glucose checks will be given at the MU from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. A diabetes awareness basketball tournament will also be held tomorrow from 4 to 7 p.m. at the Dairy Courts.
A presentation about diabetes and Diabetes Awareness Week will be held in 223 Olson Hall from 7:15 to 7:35 p.m.
LAUREN MASCARENHAS can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.