'Doctors lead the way in changing social diabetes perception'

Lee Han-soo  Published 2020.01.31  14:58  Updated 2020.01.31 18:44


Despite the recent increase in diabetic patients in Korea, the negative social perception toward the patient has not changed, the Korean Diabetes Association (KDA) head said Thursday.

KDA President Yoon Kun-ho presents his goals in the two-year term, during a news conference to start his tenure at a hotel in Mapo-gu,, western Seoul, on Thursday.

"Although the number of peoples with diabetes has increased significantly, social indifference and criticism toward the patients have made them hide their condition," said Professor Yoon Kun-ho, president of the KDA, during an inaugural ceremony Thursday.

Overcoming diabetes is not an easy job, Yoon said. He unveiled plans to change such perceptions and help people with diabetes become more forthcoming in the course of his two-year term.

"Last year, the association continued to work for diabetes patients, but we had to put the focus on establishing a functional association," Yoon said. "This year, we have decided to improve the social environment for patients actively. "In detail, Yoon plans to strengthen the social environment for diabetics, actively participate in government policies, and establish KDA as a global organization.

Regarding the improvement of the social environment for diabetics, the association has recently established a social contribution committee, which will collaborate with various patient organizations. The committee plans to create a donation and symbiosis culture, build a sustainable model for activities, and cooperate with other social contribution groups.

The association recently kicked off a project titled the "Cities Changing Diabetes Program," which is officially sponsored by the Danish Royal Family, the World Diabetes Association, the KDA, and the Korean Society of Obesity.

The program aims to make long-term changes in the administration, operation, and structure of each city to reduce the incidence and prevalence of diabetes.

"Through the project, the problems of each city can be identified through research and communicated to the authorities," Yoon said. "This will, in turn, allow authorities to formulate improvement policies and create a system to improve the urban environment."

In establishing the association as a global organization, the KDA plans to focus on both local and international conferences, such as the 2020 International Conference on Diabetes and Metabolism.

KDA will also try to expand its communication channels through social media such as SNS and YouTube, he added.

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