Educating Diabetes Patients and Youth through the Wikieducator: A Case Study from Mauritius

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Commonwealth of Learning (COL)

PCF5 Sub-theme: Health // Mauritius has one of the highest prevalence of diabetes in the world with nearly one in five of our adults above the age of 30 years suffering from diabetes. The Government of Mauritius recognises the dire need for appropriate health education and counselling against diabetes among its citizens especially the youths. Its National Service Framework for diabetes (2007) has also highlighted "judicious and extensive use of available knowledge and resources can greatly reduce the enormous ill-health, disability and death associated with the disease." This paper critically reflects on a multi-pronged study on diabetes which is in line with Government Policy and has at least three main purposes: 1. Dissemination of important and timely information to a high-risk proportion of the population, 2. Enabling knowledge sharing outlets amongst patients who want to voice out and relate their cases and 3. Testing a cascading methodology of building communities using wiki technology. It therefore proposes an innovative and constructive methodology to disseminate appropriate and adapted information on diabetes to the Mauritian public through the Wikieducator. The Wiki environment will not only have updated material, but will also provide a platform for Diabetes patients to relate their own cases and thus create greater awareness of this non-communicable disease. The methodology proposed is based on a cascading and multiplying effect through 1 hour face to face sessions that would be held in cybercafés in three randomly chosen main villages of Mauritius. We propose to gather ten random aged diabetes patients in each village who will be introduced to the Wikieducator material and who would then be taught wiki writing techniques to relate their own cases. For the next session, each of these ten patients would in turn bring at least two more patients or parents of patients and six youths who would learn about caring for the diabetes patients and "self-preservation". We propose to have three face-to-face sessions at the end of which we would be able to compile around 60 individual comments and feedback onto the wikieducator. These material would serve as real case-studies for the diabetes courses that would be eventually mounted onto the Wikieducator. // Paper ID 413