Diabetes is one of the leading health problems that are affecting most Americans today. According to the research by Liburd (2013), it is estimated that about 23.6 Americans suffer from Type 2 diabetes. It is ranked seventh among the leading causes of death in the country. The research by Barnett (2011) also reveals that this disease lowers the life expectancy of the victims by about 15 years. Diabetes has been associated with coronary diseases, kidney failure, amputation of the lower limb, and onset blindness among adults.
Healthy People 2020 program seeks to address health problems, including the problem posed by diabetes. The increasing percentage of people affected by this disease is affecting the efforts put by various stakeholders to achieve the vision of this program. The costs associated with managing this disease are also massive. According to the estimates of Purnell (2013), diabetes is costing this country about $ 174 billion annually.
The African Americans have been determined to have a higher prevalence of contracting the disease. It is for this reason that the researcher decided to conduct an informative community teaching program among the African Americans at House of God Church in Miami Dade County. In this teaching plan, the focus is to come up with an effective learning program that will create awareness in this community about Type 2 diabetes so that members can avoid behavior that may put them at the risk of contracting the disease.
Summary of Teaching Plan
This teaching program is planned to take place at House of God Church in Miami Dade County. The target group is the African Americans of different ages who are the attendants of this church and the program is expected to last for one month. The lessons are planned to take place for one hour every Sunday, immediately after the service. The leadership of the church has approved the program and allowed the classes to take place within the facility at no cost.
This has helped in lowering the expected cost of the program. This program costs about $ 60 in total, especially for the production of the teaching materials. The topic for the program was how to prevent and control diabetes. The program heavily relied on the statistics from medical research institutions in this country such as CDC (Center for Disease Control and Prevention). To achieve the best impact, interactive posters about the issues relevant to diabetes such as diets were to be used.
The posters were distributed to the participants, and some were strategically placed at different locations within the church. The posters were used during the actual learning process as each participant was expected to refer to the posters to gain more understanding of the issue under investigation. Pamphlets were also to be used as a comprehensive source of the information meant for the learners.
The pamphlets were distributed among the community taking part in the study. The posters with relevant pictures were also distributed among the participants. To make the entire process interactive, the community was requested to describe the risk factors for diabetes that they already know about.
The pamphlets had the information, but the participants were required to reiterate them so that anyone with questions can ask. Issues about family history, age, race or ethnicity, metabolic syndrome, overweight, hypertension, abnormal lipid levels, and history of gestational diabetes were discussed. The second stage was the discussion of the signs and symptoms of the disease. The information was available in the pamphlets and posters, but the community was expected to give their inputs and ask relevant questions.
The community was also expected to understand how to detect these symptoms early enough before they can have serious impacts on the individual. In the third stage, there was a discussion of healthy eating habits. The main focus at this stage was to create an understanding among the community of how to plan their diet to reduce the chances of acquiring the disease. The fourth stage was to focus on how to live positively for those who are already suffering from Type 2 diabetes.
The information at this stage was targeted to the victims and their family members. To the victims, the information helped them know how to manage the disease to stay healthy. To their family members, the information helped them know how to handle diabetics living in their families. At each stage, there was a detailed explanation of the issues stated, a discussion by all the participants, and a question-answer session. The participants had pamphlets and posters to use when they want to make references. Each session took one hour per week. The four stages took four weeks.
Epidemiological Rationale for Topic
Diabetes is considered one of the deadliest diseases in the United States today. According to the research by Ritter and Hoffman (2012), there is a consistent rise in cases of Type 2 diabetes and associated risks such as cardiovascular diseases and obesity. The Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) released a report which indicates that about 24 million Americans are currently living with diabetes.
The report reveals that of this number, 18 million people have undergone diagnosis and are undergoing treatment, while the other 6 million people are still not aware that they have diabetes. Type 2 diabetes is the most common, with about 90-95% of those diagnosed having it.
According to the research by Liburd (2013), those with a family history of Type 2 diabetes are at a greater risk of acquiring this disease.
The research also revealed that African Americans have greater chances of contracting the disease than Whites. The risk also increases with one’s age. According to Purnell (2013), the place the African Americans stay may be a contributing factor to their high chances of contracting diabetes. Other researchers have cited access to quality healthcare as one of the leading factors.
It is also a general belief that the level of education may be a factor as those with higher education had lower risks of acquiring the disease. The African Americans have higher risks of suffering from serious complications associated with diabetes such as extremity amputation or end-stage renal disease. It is because of these glaring facts that the program was designed to target the African Americans at Miami Dade County.
Evaluation of Teaching Experience
The teaching experience at House of God Church in Miami Dade County can be described as successful. The community members that participated in this program were members of this church, and the approval by the church leadership was an endorsement that contributed to the success. There were a total of 500 participants who were regular members of this church. Most of them were youths and adults, but there were also children aged between seven to twelve years. Because of the time constrain, the lessons took only one hour per day, immediately after the church service.
Most of the participants were eager to learn more about Type 2 diabetes. It was noted that even those who knew about diabetes still asked questions about the recent data of those suffering from the disease, and some of the discoveries that have been made in the fight against the disease. Members were willing to share the information they had about the disease, and some of the people living with the disease volunteered to give detailed information about their experience as victims.
This helped give fast hand information about living with Type 2 diabetes. They also gave a narration of their lifestyle, just before acquiring the disease, making it easy for the participants to understand how lifestyle played a role in acquiring the disease. Children who participated in this study were also instrumental in this study. They were eager to learn about this topic and asked relevant questions that helped in understanding the topic. They also behaved respectfully towards their elders and the people who were teaching them.
Community Response to Teaching
The response from the community was positive. Their massive turn-up from the first day when this program started to the last day was a clear indication that they derived satisfaction from it. They came with relevant questions and some of them were willing to teach others about what they know through experience or education about this disease. The community was genuinely concerned that they were at a high risk of acquiring the disease than other American communities.
The knowledge that their place of residence, lifestyle, and level of education played a role was a relief to many who were not aware of this fact. It was clear to them that they had the powers to stay away from this health complication. The community appreciated the work of the organizers of this program, in coming up with an informative program that successfully explained the causes, impact, and management of diabetes. They even requested a regular program on a similar topic to help society be in line with the vision of Healthy People 2020.
Areas of Strength and Areas of Improvement
The main area of strength for the teaching program was how it was organized. Incorporating the leaders of the church helped the organizers win the trust of the congregation, and secure a free teaching hall. The fact that the program came immediately after the service helped in reaching out to a larger group. The organizers were keen on time management, the fact that helped in winning the trust of the participants. The pamphlets and posters enhanced the learning process, while the interactive nature ensured that any unclear information was addressed.
However, the time that was available for the program may need to be adjusted. The one-hour program was too short. The program may also need more educators. The team involved in teaching was not able to address all the issues because of their limited number. It may be necessary to have more trainers so that they can be distributed to different tasks.
Barnett, A. H. (2011). Type 2 diabetes. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
Liburd, L. C. (2010). Diabetes and health disparities: Community-based approaches for racial and ethnic populations. New York: Springer Pub. Co.
Purnell, L. D. (2013). Transcultural health care: A culturally competent approach. Philadelphia: F.A. Davis.
Ritter, L. A., & Hoffman, N. A. (2010). Multicultural health. Sudbury, Mass: Jones and Bartlett Publishers.