On November 13th, just before the World Diabetes Day an unusual charitable action took place in Saint Petersburg to attract the attention to the problems of the disease. A retro-tram decorated with informational posters about the diabetes went through the central streets of Petersburg. Inside the tram one could attend a mini exhibition as part of the Photo Project “Diabetes in Persons” initiated by GEROPHARM, Group of Companies. The Photo Project was performed by the famous photographer Valery Plotnikov.
The aim of the project was to look at the problem of diabetes mellitus
with eyes of a person who suffers it. These lives could be made better
through joint efforts of the state, the medical community, public
organizations, socially responsible companies and the people themselves.
At every stop (there were 12 of them) of the retro-tram volunteers
gave the citizens informational leaflets and flyers with information on
the diabetes. It was also possible to make an instant analysis, e.g. to
check blood using a glucometer with help of volunteers. Some people
don’t know this device, but the diabetics use it 5-7 times a day.
Among the participants of this action there were people who know by
their own what a diabetes mellitus is, the characters of the GEROPHARM
Photo Project “Diabetes in Persons”. Anton Aleksandrov shared his
opinion with journalists: “I think it’s better to make a check. I was
absolutely healthy, went in for sports, there were no signs of the
disease. It’s better to make a check now than to realize that you’re
ill, when your sugar is higher than 30”.
Informational actions were organized at two main stops: “Sadoviy
Bridge” and “Circus on Fontanka”. Chairman of the City Committee for
Social Politics Aleksandr Rzhanenkov and the players of the basketball
club “Spartak” (Saint Petersburg) participated in the action “Sport and
Diabetes” in Sadovaya street.
Alexander Rzhanenkov emphasized that, apart from official numbers
(according to official data, there are more than 120 thousands of
diabetics in Saint Petersburg), a lot of people are in a so-called risk
Chairman of the Saint Petersburg Diabetic Society and one of the
organizers of the action Marina Shipulina told that the results of the
screening made at different industrial enterprises showed that
approximately 6-7 employees were in the risk group. “People can live
5-10 years knowing nothing about their disease, although the
complications are already nearby,” she says.
Moreover, according to Rzhanenkov, active prevention of diabetes among the people is also necessary for the state budget optimization. The official notes: “It’s more profitable in economic terms to predict the disease than to treat its consequences. Diabetes causes the complications with cardiovascular system, vision and locomotor system.”
Among the participants of the action “Children and School” at the stop
“Circus on Fontanka” there were children with their parents and
Chairman of the Social Politics and Healthcare Committee of the
Legislative Assembly of Saint Petersburg Liudmila Kostkina: “There were
100 diseased persons in the whole city and now we have 1500 diseased
children. This number unfortunately grows. That is why parents need
knowledge and there should be a system of special control and
nourishment especially at schools and kindergartens. It should become a
The culmination was a flash mob. The volunteers and participants with
opened blue umbrellas formed a huge blue circle (a symbol of the fight
against diabetes mellitus approved by the U.N.O.) and sent blue balloons
in the sky.
It is no coincidence that 14th November is the World Diabetes Day. It
is a birthday of Frederick Banting, a Canadian physiologist who
discovered the insulin in 1921. In Saint Petersburg the Diabetes Days
are organized by the Saint Petersburg Diabetic Society since 1992.
According to the World Health Organization, now there are more than
300 mln people with diabetes in the world. It is expected that this
number will increase up to 380 mln by 2030. In December 2006 the United
Nations Organization approved a special Resolution 61/225 which
acknowledged the diabetes mellitus as a severe chronic disease and a
menace to the whole world community that can lead to severe social and
GEROPHARM considers the diabetes public awareness campaign as an important part of its routine work. The company develops and manufactures medicinal preparations including genetically engineered human insulin. In October, GEROPHARM opened a full-cycle plant manufacturing this vitally important drug in the Moscow Region. Today, it is the first and the only plant in the country which produces the drug using the full cycle: starting from the substance biosyntheses up to the ready dosage form. For the insulin-dependent patients with diabetes mellitus it is a vital need to take insulin every day.
More than 3.2 mln of people with diabetes mellitus are officially registered in Russia; more than 120 thsn of them are in Saint Petersburg.