Diabetes Study, Treatment for Islanders

A major diabetes study and treatment protocol for the Line Islands in Kiribati has been announced by PIMA and the University of Southern California Institute for Global Health.

The study, spearheaded by Pacific Islands Medical Aid volunteer endocrinologist Dr. Elizabeth Beale of the Keck School of Medicine at USC, will get underway this summer with the aid of a $10,000 grant from the institute and participation of two masters of public health students at the university.

Previous World Health Organization (WHO) studies in the Kiribati capital of Tarawa show that nearly 30 percent of all adults in Kiribati suffer from Type 2 diabetes, Dr. Beale said.

She said the aim of the study will be to determine the prevalence of pre-diabetes and diabetes in the Line Islands, the prevalence and magnitude of risk factors, the prevalence of diabetes complications and to provide medical treatment for patients with established diabetes.

The study and treatment program has been arranged by invitation from the Line Islands Medical Officer in Charge, Dr. Teraira Bangao on Christmas Island.

USC masters of public health students Ms. Alexandra Anderson and Ms. Brooke Lejeune will work under the direction of Dr. Beale for the study. Dr. Beale, who will also travel by boat from Christmas Island to the outer islands of Tabuaeran and Teraina, will also see and treat diabetics while there.​​​​