Diabetes Prevention Program among Pre-Diabetic Refugee Camps Women Project

Continuing the efforts to combat diabetes, Juzoor, in cooperation with Bank of Palestine, Portland Trust and UNRWA, started a pre-diabetes prevention program in Palestine.  Juzoor worked closely with UNRWA clinic staff members to identify and contact the pre-selected women participants. All the participants went through a full screening process and completed all the necessary tests at the UNRWA clinics. This program is being implemented on the national level with strong partnerships with stakeholders within the Palestinian health system. The main goal of the project is to reduce the onset of Diabetes Type 2 among 150 pre-diabetic women through healthier lifestyle modification by 5-7% reduction in body weight among participant women and a minimum of 150 minutes of physical activity per week.

This program has been carefully designed to help the targeted women in four refugee camps of Amary, Qalandia, Jalazoun, and Shofat and Beit Sureek village to change their lifestyle. To ensure positive outcomes, the lifestyle coach in each camp keeps track of the participants’ weight, fitness activities, and what they eat.

In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, Juzoor continued monitor the women’s weight under the lock-downs. Juzoor has provided the 150 women with weight scales and kept following up with them through WhatsApp groups chatrooms and provided informative videos about healthy eating and physical activity.

In addition to that, on World Diabetes Day, and upon the request of the DPP participants at the Jalazon camp, Juzoor supported a hiking activity, while taking into consideration safety measurements by providing face masks and hand sanitizers.

Moreover, The Augusta Victoria Hospital Mobile Clinic visited the targeted locations and did the HbA1C blood tests for 118 participants. This activity was done in response to the participants need and Juzoor’s aim to identify the impact of COVID-19 on sugar levels in the absence of face-to-face follow up due to the lock-down restrictions.

Juzoor has  also conducted a survey to assess and compare the change in the nutrition and physical activity practices pre and during quarantine. This survey aimed to help define the gaps and deviations that have evolved during quarantine period, which affected the program’s healthy practices and goals.

In 2020:

  • The women have become ambassadors of healthy eating among their families and friends.
  • Strong bonds have been created between participants and Juzoor’s team which is very important for the sustainability of the program.
  • Women are losing weight; some participants have reached the 5-7% weight loss goal of their original weight in the first nine months of the 3-year project and are looking forward to achieve extra healthy weight loss.
  • Women practice in physical activities at the women’s center in each camp by using the fitness equipment that Juzoor provided through the project, or they walk together in the camp’s football playground.
  • Through this life style modification program, we are targeting all other non-communicable diseases risk factors.
  • This program is the first Social Impact Bond success.
  • UNRWA is considering adopting this program and integrating it into their system as a prevention program that will affect their budget positively by reducing the number of diabetic patients and the costs of their treatment.
  • Juzoor, in partnership with the Bank of Palestine, conducted a National Diabetes Campaign to observe the Diabetes Awareness Month in November