Non-governmental Agencies Involved in Global Issues
Diabetes is a long-term medical disorder that develops when the body is unable to control blood sugar levels. This happens as a result of either a lack of insulin or an ineffective usage of insulin. Diabetes raises the risk of coronary disease and stroke, among other consequences, and can harm the kidneys, eyes, and nerves. Typically, medication, lifestyle modifications, and routine blood sugar checks are used to manage it. Type 1 diabetes is an autoimmune disorder that often develops in childhood or adolescence, in contrast, to type 2 diabetes, which is typically connected to lifestyle factors including weight and inactivity (Forouhi & Wareham, 2019). In Mauritius, diabetes affects 20% of the population, which is a high prevalence of the condition. One of the main causes of death in Mauritius and a significant public health issue is diabetes (Paurobally et al., 2021). A poor diet, a lack of exercise, and obesity are the main risk factors for diabetes in Mauritius. The high prevalence of diabetes in Mauritius is mostly due to the traditional cuisine, which is high in sugar and carbohydrates, as well as a sedentary lifestyle. The government of Mauritius has launched various initiatives to combat the diabetes problem in the country (Paurobally et al., 2021).
NGOs (Non-Governmental Organizations) are non-profit, voluntary citizen groups organized on a local, national, or international level to address social, economic, or political issues. NGOs operate independently of the government, typically promoting human rights, social welfare, and environmental protection (Pal et al., 2019). They receive funding from various sources, including private donations, government grants, and corporate sponsorships. NGOs often raise public awareness of issues and advocate for policy changes. Several agencies are working for Diabetes internationally like
- International Diabetes Federation (IDF)
- JDRF International
- Diabetes Mauritius
- Mauritius Diabetes Association
- Rotary Club of Port Louis
- Diabetes UK
- Diabetes Australia
- Canadian Diabetes Association (Mtila, 2020)
Difference Between Public Health NGOs and Governmental Public Health Organizations
Public health NGOs (non-governmental organizations) are independent organizations that work to improve the population’s health. They are often funded by donations and run by a team of professionals with specialized knowledge in public health. These organizations work to provide awareness, education, prevention, and treatment of diseases. They may work alongside governmental organizations but operate independently (Ralston et al., 2020).
On the other hand, governmental public health organizations are departments within the government that are responsible for public health. They are usually funded by the government and may have a more extensive reach than NGOs. They are responsible for developing policies, setting standards, and implementing public health programs. They may also work with NGOs to deliver public health programs (Gostin et al., 2020).
In the case of Diabetes, public health NGOs such as the International Diabetes Federation (IDF) and the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation (JDRF) work to create awareness, provide education, support research, and advocate for policies that promote Diabetes prevention and treatment. For instance, the IDF runs a program called Diabetes Education and Prevention that aims to prevent type 2 diabetes through education and lifestyle modification (Mathieu et al., 2022).
On the other hand, governmental public health organizations such as the World Health Organization (WHO) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) are responsible for developing policies and guidelines for diabetes prevention and management. For example, the WHO has developed the Global Action Plan for the Prevention and Control of Noncommunicable Diseases 2013-2020, which includes strategies to prevent and control Diabetes (Cahill, 2019).
The International Diabetes Federation (IDF)
The International Diabetes Federation (IDF) was founded in 1950 and is headquartered in Brussels, Belgium. It is a non-profit organization that aims to promote diabetes prevention, care, and a cure worldwide. It has over 230 member associations in more than 160 countries, representing over 640 million people with Diabetes and those at risk (Tönnies et al., 2021). The financial health of the IDF is relatively strong, with an annual budget of around $22 million. It raises funds through membership fees, sponsorships, donations, and grants. The IDF has raised over $70 million for its research, education, and advocacy programs. In 2019, the IDF’s revenue was $21.6 million, and its expenses were $19.2 million (International Diabetes Federation, 2021).
The World Diabetes Day campaign, which strives to increase awareness of Diabetes and its prevention, is the IDF’s principal activity. The organization additionally supports the creation and execution of programs for managing and preventing diabetes. It promotes laws that raise the standard of living for those who have diabetes. The IDF has a presence in countries across the globe, including Africa, Asia, Europe, North America, South America, and the Middle East. It has member associations in each of these regions, which work to improve diabetes prevention, care, and treatment in their respective countries (Ogurtsova et al., 2021).
The IDF’s stakeholders and members are selected through application and review. Member associations must meet specific criteria to become part of the IDF network and pay an annual membership fee. The IDF also has individual members who are healthcare professionals, researchers, and people living with Diabetes. They can join by paying an annual fee. The organization’s Board of Directors is elected by its members and oversees its activities (Boulton, 2020).
Advantages of Public Health NGOs Over Government-Sponsored Programs
Public health NGOs are often more flexible and can adapt more quickly to changes in the local and global health environment. They are not bound by government bureaucracy and can quickly shift their focus to address emerging health issues. Public health NGOs are often more innovative and can introduce new and creative approaches to address public health challenges. They can experiment with new technologies, programs, and interventions that may not be possible under government programs. They are often more accountable to their donors, beneficiaries, and the general public. They are subject to strict monitoring and evaluation, which ensures that their programs are practical and efficient (Pierre, 2020).
They can focus on specific population groups or health issues often overlooked by government-sponsored programs. They can tailor their programs to meet the communities’ unique needs. Further, they can partner with other organizations, including governments, to leverage resources, expertise, and knowledge to achieve their mission. Such collaborations can lead to more effective and sustainable health interventions (Rajabi et al., 2021).
Public health NGOs, such as the International Diabetes Federation (IDF), have several advantages over government-sponsored programs regarding how donations are sought and obtained, how funds are distributed, and how applications for assistance are made (Boulton, 2020).
NGOs are generally more proactive in seeking donations and support from individuals and corporations, while government-sponsored programs rely more on tax revenue and public funding. NGOs like the IDF can raise awareness about the impact of Diabetes on individuals and communities, which can inspire people to contribute and donate (Perona et al., 2019).
NGOs have greater flexibility and autonomy in distributing funds compared to government-sponsored programs. NGOs can respond quickly to emerging needs and channel resources to where they are most needed. The IDF has a global network of national diabetes associations and partners responsible for implementing programs and interventions to support people with Diabetes (Federation, 2020).
NGOs like the IDF have more streamlined and accessible application processes for individuals and organizations seeking assistance. Applications are usually online, and the review process is faster than in government-sponsored programs. The IDF provides various services and resources, including education, awareness campaigns, advocacy, and research support (Federation, 2020).
Challenges Public Health NGOs Have in Comparison with Government-Sponsored Programs
Public health NGOs face various challenges compared to government-sponsored programs. One of the significant challenges for public health NGOs is limited resources. These organizations rely on donations and grants, which may be insufficient to cover the costs of programs and services. Another challenge is the lack of political power and influence. NGOs do not have the same authority and access to resources as government agencies. They may struggle to gain support and recognition from policymakers and other stakeholders, which can limit their impact on public health initiatives (Amiri & Pagheh, 2019).
Additionally, NGOs face issues related to the sustainability and continuity of their programs. Funding sources may be unstable and limited, making it challenging to plan and implement long-term strategies. Despite these challenges, public health NGOs offer unique benefits to the public health field. They can respond more quickly to emerging health issues and be more innovative and flexible in their approaches. NGOs can also provide specialized services and advocacy that may not be possible in government-sponsored programs (Sayarifard et al., 2022).
As a public health non-governmental organization, the International Diabetes Federation (IDF) faces numerous challenges compared to government-sponsored programs. One of the primary challenges is funding, as NGOs rely on grants and donations to operate, while government programs have access to public funds. For instance, IDF’s 2019 financial report indicates that 90% of their income came from donations, membership fees, and grants, which limits their ability to reach more people with Diabetes (International Diabetes Federation, 2021).
Another challenge that IDF faces is limited resources and personnel. Unlike government programs with extensive networks of healthcare professionals, NGOs like IDF may have limited access to medical professionals, which can hinder their ability to provide the necessary services to people with Diabetes. Furthermore, government-sponsored programs are more likely to have robust data systems and epidemiological surveillance, which are critical in understanding the scope and trends of Diabetes in a given population (Piemonte, 2021).
Evaluation of Global Health Issues by the Public Health NGOs
The sufficiency of data available for public health NGOs to get involved in a health issue depends on several factors, such as the scope or severity of the problem, the degree of need, and the available resources. The methods NGOs use to develop their criteria may include literature reviews, consultation with experts, and analysis of epidemiological data (Tönnies et al., 2021).
In the case of the International Diabetes Federation (IDF), their determining criteria for getting involved in a health issue related to Diabetes would include the prevalence and incidence of the disease, the impact on public health, the availability of treatments and resources, and the potential for prevention and management. They would also consider the social and economic factors that contribute to the disease, such as lifestyle and environmental factors, as well as the need for advocacy and policy change (Piemonte, 2021).
The International Diabetes Federation (IDF) decides whether to get involved in a particular health issue based on current, trustworthy, and pertinent statistics on diabetes incidence, incidence, and complications. The IDF uses data from reputable sources, such as the World Health Organization (WHO), national diabetes associations, and other health institutions (Ogurtsova et al., 2021).
Scope of Severity
The IDF considers the scope and severity of a health issue when deciding whether to get involved. Diabetes is a global health problem that affects millions of people worldwide, and its prevalence is increasing rapidly. The IDF may prioritize health issues that affect a large population, have a high mortality or morbidity rate, or are associated with significant economic and social burdens (Boulton, 2020).
Degree of Need
The IDF assesses the degree of need for intervention in a health issue, considering the availability and effectiveness of existing interventions and the resources required to implement new interventions. The IDF may prioritize health issues with a significant unmet need or require new and innovative approaches (Perona et al., 2019).
Approach to the Agency for Assistance
To approach the International Diabetes Federation for assistance, one can visit the organization’s website and look for its contact information. The organization’s website also provides information on the types of programs and initiatives the IDF supports. One can draft a letter or email detailing the health issue and how the IDF could help. It is essential to provide relevant data, such as prevalence rates and the burden of the disease, to support the request. The IDF has a strong presence on social media and can also engage with the organization through its social media platforms (Boulton, 2020).
Practicum Research and Interviewing Experiences
Researching and interviewing can provide a better understanding of the complexities involved in public health organizations and delivery. It can reveal the challenges faced by these organizations in delivering effective services and the need for collaborative efforts to address public health issues. In the case of the International Diabetes Federation (IDF), researching and interviewing can provide insights into the strategies and initiatives taken by the organization to combat Diabetes (Amiri & Pagheh, 2019).
In terms of public health delivery, it was surprising to learn the extensive efforts that public health organizations, such as the International Diabetes Federation, put into advocating for policy changes and promoting the prevention and management of Diabetes worldwide. It was impressive to see the various programs and initiatives they have developed to raise awareness about Diabetes, support patients, and empower communities to take action. It was aligned with my expectations to learn that NGOs tend to be more flexible, innovative, and responsive to local needs than government-sponsored programs, which are often bureaucratic, top-down, and constrained by political factors. However, it was surprising that some NGOs, like IDF, have strong partnerships with governments and collaborate on national diabetes plans and strategies (International Diabetes Federation, 2021).
This experience has highlighted the importance of global health issues and the critical role of public health organizations in addressing them. It has also made me appreciate the complexity and diversity of the public health field and the need for interdisciplinary collaboration and evidence-based interventions. Through research and interviews with representatives from IDF, it became evident that public health organizations play a crucial role in addressing health issues such as Diabetes, a primary global health concern. I initially assumed that public health organizations only provide information and awareness campaigns. Still, my research and interviews with IDF representatives revealed that they engage in various activities such as research, advocacy, and partnerships to advance diabetes care and prevention (Piemonte, 2021).
In conclusion, non-governmental organizations (NGOs) such as the International Diabetes Federation (IDF) play a crucial role in addressing global issues. Promoting diabetes treatment, prevention, and a cure globally is the IDF’s main objective. This organization collaborates with various governmental and non-governmental organizations, academia, healthcare professionals, and patients. IDF has significantly impacted diabetes research, advocacy, and education by promoting diabetes awareness, education, and support. Through their programs, they have increased diabetes research funding, and improved diabetes education and training for healthcare professionals. They have supported those who have diabetes and pushed for legislation to further the treatment of the disease. The IDF is an excellent example of an influential non-governmental organization working towards global issues, and we need more such organizations to tackle other global issues.
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