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Document launched to prevent COVID-19 fake news spread among healthcare professionals

By Editor
1st April 2020
Care planning, Coronavirus

A global team of health experts along with people living with diabetes have come together to encourage healthcare professionals to better commute with people who have the condition amid the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Language Matters in the Times of COVID-19 has been developed to help everyone make sure that only accurate information and helpful sentiments are shared during this difficult period.

The document focusses on using reliable sources to verify health-related statistics, remind healthcare professionals to smile at their patients and to avoid passing on fake news articles.

We all speak one language which is that of love care and compassion. Dr Shashank Joshi

It was drafted by a group of people led by The Diabesties Foundation in India in collaboration with a group of healthcare professionals working in the NHS, UK.

The idea originated when team members from Diabesties were discussing the amount of panic their families were feeling with all the fake news going around.

Jazz Sethi, Founder and Director of Diabesties, said: “All of us on the team are people living with diabetes. We know that we are in an ‘at risk’ group – but we were getting extremely anxious with all the talk of comorbidities and mortality rates. We decided to reach out to our healthcare professionals colleagues in the UK to create a document that would offer a little comfort in these chaotic times.”

‘Extraordinary times’

Professor Partha Kar, Consultant in Diabetes in Portsmouth and National Specialty Advisor, Diabetes, NHS England said: “Language Matters has evolved as a concept across diabetes over the last few years, initiated by colleagues in Australia, and continues to gain strength.

“In these present extraordinary times of COVID-19, it has particular relevance as there has never been a greater need for the diabetes community to look after each other, help to reassure as well as ensure accurate information is cascaded as much as possible.

“This is the time to be aware of impact of language on others mental health as many are at home and look to the internet and social media for information. As healthcare professionals, part of our role needs to be thus focussed on ensuring we do our bit to help cascade reliable information and be mindful of impact of words used on those living with diabetes.”

There was also input from Dr Shashank Joshi, Chair IDF Southeast Asia and Dean of the Indian College of Physicians.

Dr Joshi said: “Today in a world which is a global village, one world, we all speak one language which is that of love care and compassion. People with diabetes need the best communication, the language they understand, feel; where they can adapt and live better and happier lives.

“This concept developed by a truly global team needs to be spread across everyone who cares for people living with diabetes. In a world where information spreads faster than a virus, it’s an outstanding effort.

“Ever-changing science still needs a vehicle to communicate and I congratulate the team for this wonderful initiative. Stay happy, stay healthy, stay at home, eat Mindfully, be active, sleep well and smile!”

The hope is that this document can help cascade reliable information and urge people to be mindful of impact of words used on those living with diabetes.

To read the document, click here.

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