Europe

Belgrade

Joined the programme in 2020

Belgrade, Serbia

The diabetes challenge in Belgrade

In Serbia, about 10,3% of the population live with diabetes and many more live with obesity. 31,2% of the adult population are living with obesity and 51% of children in urban areas in Serbia are living with overweight and obesity. It is estimated that 38% of the adult population has undiagnosed type 2 diabetes in Serbia, and diabetes is fifth ranked cause of death in Serbia.

Further action is necessary to control the development of diabetes and obesity in Belgrade. The ambition is to improve health equity among citizens with diabetes and prevent people at an elevated risk of developing diabetes.

About the programme

The first joint initiative as part of Cities Changing Diabetes is the project: "Open the Blue Circle". The name of the initiative – Open the Blue Circle – refers to the intention of the project to break the vicious circle caused by urban diabetes and to open the city to the needs of the inhabitants who are affected by urban living. It also alludes to the fact that the platform is open to all who wish to contribute to making the city a healthier place to live. 

The online platform provides users with information about diabetes and specially designed walking routes in the city. Participants who sign up to the initiative can "collect kilometres" by walking the routes. These kilometres will then be converted into financial donations from Novo Nordisk to aid in the fight against diabetes in Belgrade. The funding will be dedicated primarily for supporting primary diabetes care units in the capital, as recomended by the the study prepared by the Belgrade Faculty of Medicine that is also to be conducted within the project.

“We are witnessing nowadays that diabetes is turning into pandemic, which we need to slow down by engaging the entire society and raising awareness. Within our concept of Belgrade as a healthier city the focus is on environment, but also on adjusting the city to the needs of patients with chronical diseases so they could improve the quality of their living”

— Prof. Zoran Radojičić, Mayor of Belgrade

“This project has the potential to change the way we live in Belgrade. It provides new possibilities to diabetes patients for setting their living and working conditions differently”

— Prof. Nebojsa Lalic, Dean of the Medical Faculty, President of the Expert Committee for diabetes of the Ministry of Health

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