Every Ninth Person in Macedonia Has Diabetes

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Diabetics Seek Regular Supply of Insulin

In Macedonia, around 200,000 suffer from diabetes. In Kumanovo alone there are around 7,500 diabetics, of whom 2,500 use insulin, the Diabetics Association informs. This year the World Diabetes Days was commemorated under the motto of “Women and Diabetes – Our Right to a Healthy Future”. Nearly 50% of all the diabetics are women. The number of diabetics in Macedonia and globally is constantly on the rise. The fact that up to 10 adults and two children aged 5-16 are registered in the country as diabetics on a monthly basis is alarming.

This year, too, the patients say that the key problem that they are facing is the frequent absence of insulin.

“Million euros earmarked for the procurement of insulin have been cut from the previous budget. This is a substantial amount, so it may have a negative effect on the patients’ health. Let us hope that this situation will improve this year because health is more important than money”, says Zoran Bojkovski, chairman of the Kumanovo, Lipkovo and Staro Nagorichane Diabetics Association.

The Kumanovo patients hope that this year they will obtain more sophisticated types of insulin that follow the global trends.

“We use older types of insulin, which is certainly not very good when it comes to improving the patients’ health”, Bojkovski says.

The association has already contacted Deputy Health Minister Goce Chakarovski and they hope that the insulin problem will be solved soon and new insulin and medications therapy will be procured.

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Even the patients who control this disease through medications face similar problems. Some of the socially vulnerable categories of people, primarily the Roma, have no funds to buy the required pills that are included on the positive list, that is, that are covered by the Healthcare Fund. These include the medications for diabetes-related diseases, which require additional funds that the vulnerable categories simply do not possess and can therefore not improve their health.

“We will try to take steps in this respect, too. There are people who cannot buy medications indeed, even though they are not very expensive, but they need to find money. We will try to somehow solve this problem”, Bojkovski adds.

They plan to send their request for a free therapy for the poor to the state institutions via the Diabetics Union. Yet, they are still waiting for the new health minister to be appointed.

krv-520x289There is a Diabetics Center in Kumanovo and, unlike the previous years, when only one doctor worked in it, or there were no doctors at all, this year two doctors take care of the sick. It has been announced that another doctor will arrive soon. This will allow the patients from the whole region, rather than just from Kumanovo, Lipkovo and Staro Nagorichane, that is, the residents of the neighboring municipalities in the northeastern region, such as Kriva Palanka, Kratovo and Rankovce, to have a doctor at their disposal constantly. In these three towns there is no diabetics association or center. The Kumanovo association says that they will make moves to overcome this problem by opening dispersed offices of the existing association,

“We do hope that things will get better and better”, Bojkovski says.

Meanwhile, the association members have announced their plan to start working on gathering information on the number of diabetics. The Skopje Children Clinic authorities already have such data. The Kumanovo association has announced that they will include the parents of the sick children to work together with the other members to promote the rights of the diabetics.

Diabetes is one of the most frequent diseases of modern-day society. It is believed that there are more than 200 million diabetics worldwide, but, according to the International Diabetes Federation, this number will climb to 350 million by 2025. Five million people have died worldwide as a result of this disease, while 40% of those affected do not even know that they have diabetes.

The association members have called on the public to perform regular controls because this is the most usual way of detecting diabetes. Doctors say that diabetics can live a normal life with a healthy diet and regular moderate physical activity.