Community Guide Shows How to Get Involved

Community Guide?  This plays a role in the fight against diabetes.  And the National Diabetes Education Program has recognized the community as the place where people live, work and play.  It is here where the diabetics utilize the facilities and where the team who helps them can use the resources in order to reach others who need support.  This is how the community guide was born. 

Better treatment and results are the ultimate goals.  It will be easier to meet the diabetest (Note: The two words diabetes and test are put together.) challenge with the use of the community guide.  Having met this adversity, the diabetics need the support to learn to deal with it.  Despite the heart and the determination to carry on, they still need all the help they can get to keep up their commitment in meeting this challenge. 

The greatest influence the resource people can do for the diabetics is to confirm to them that setting goals, hard work and preparation along with time management and discipline do pay off.  People who have achieved their realistic goals as to their blood sugar level target attribute this success to the help accorded to them.
The resource persons will inform those concerned that diabetes is a serious disease that is costly but controllable.  So how will they accomplish this noble gesture?  They run campaigns and promote the scheduling the people with the diabetes have to follow in order to beat this condition.  All these will prepare them for the challenges they face. 

From talks of diabetes educators that the community guide sponsored, the diabetics learned that the most important thing they need is self-discipline.  In anything one has to do, it is important to motivate and push oneself to improve.  This winning attitude will help a lot in achieving the goals.  Those who feel the gloom for having developed diabetes are helped to learn to leave the past where it belongs and focus on what to do to get well. 

There is a community health representative (CHR) who can help the diabetics.  This is someone in the community who can work with the diabetic and his family and the rest of the health care team which is a critical influence on keeping those with diabetes strong.  The beauty of this type of program is the fact that they can make it fit the needs of the local group.

These health representatives are usually in the rural areas where contact with the doctors is more difficult.  CHRs have to complete a skill test and attend a four-day training session.  Of course, the skill and strength will be different depending on the individual CHR and they are required to update their skills yearly.  These representatives are more common in Aboriginal communities.

An example of this is the SLDP (Sioux Lookout Diabetes Program) that provides assistance to Cree First Nations and Ojibway people from thirty communities that are so remote many of which can only be reached by plane.  These professionals go to these remote communities to provide the education needed that the community guide advocates. 

By Roger Guzman, M.D. and Evelyn Guzman

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