Press conference on World Health Day 2016 highlights Belarus' achievements in diabetes care
A press conference dedicated to World Health Day 2016, on the theme of "Beat diabetes", was held on 5 April at the National Press House in Minsk, Belarus. Participants spoke about diabetes, its burden in the country, as well as prevention strategies and treatment. Speakers at the press conference included:
- Ms Volha Bartman, Head of the Public Health Department, Republican Centre for Hygiene, Epidemiology and Public Health;
- Dr Alexandr Patseyev, Deputy Director of the Republican Scientific and Practical Centre for Cardiology;
- Dr Alla Shepelkevich, Chief Endocrinologist from the Ministry of Health of Belarus;
- Dr Anzhalika Solntsava, Chief Children's Endocrinologist from the Ministry of Health of Belarus; and
- Dr Egor Zaitsev, Head of the WHO Country Office in Belarus.
Dr Shepelkevich stated that currently 288 000 patients with diabetes are registered in Belarus. Life expectancy is increasing among patients who live with diabetes, and mortality is decreasing, as the result of strengthened services for diabetes patients in the country. All patients with diabetes in Belarus receive treatment free-of-charge, which is an important achievement for the country.
Dr Zaitsev mentioned that diabetes can be prevented by addressing such risk factors as overweight and obesity, unhealthy diet and low levels of physical activity. He also shared WHO recommendations on eating fresh fruit or vegetables daily and exercising regularly.