Bali

Indonesia is, according to The Jakarta Post, one of Asia’s “new frontiers” in terms of economic growth. Foreign investment and infrastructure-related development has soared in the recent 10 years, reflecting the nation’s commitment to advance as one of Asia’s fastest growing “emerging nations” according to The Jakarta Post. In Indonesia the pandemic of diabetes has even outstripped its economic growth. The rate of diabetes has risen by 400% in the last 3 years. As of 2006 the official estimate of the incidence of diabetes was 12.4% in all of Indonesia. It is estimated to be close to 16% as of 2013. It is amazing that even at that rate, an estimated 74% of diabetics are undiagnosed. In 1980 the rate of diabetes was 1.6%; in 1992 the rate was 5.7% and now in 2013 it has skyrocketed to above an estimated 16%.

The Indonesian archipelago represents more than 17,508 islands, 34 provinces, 350 ethnicities, and 238 million people. It is the world’s fourth most populous country. Bali represents a significant and internationally symbolic territory within the Indonesian archipelago. Today, Bali represents one of Indonesia’s wealthiest regions. Although tourism represents the island’s largest GDP output, agriculture is still the island’s biggest employer, most notably in rice cultivation, fruits, vegetables, coffee and spices. Many farmers are members of the traditional farming irrigation system called Subak Abian (a UNESCO heritage). A successful diabetes prevention and treatment program in Bali is a key to opening the door to a diabetes program in all of Indonesia and beyond.

As a result of the spectacular tourism boom most prevalent in the recent decade, Balinese government, spiritual leaders, and other related authorities have been emphasizing policies to balance this rapid development by raising awareness of the culturally accepted Tri Hita Karana principles of living and promoting opportunities for the island’s potential for eco-tourism/agro-tourism and overall healthy living. At the beginning of his first four-year term, Bali’s current governor, Mangku Made Pastika, launched a program called “Bali Green Province” on February 22nd, 2010, which aims to reduce carbon emissions by 26% by the year 2020.

The mission of the program is:

  • Increasing awareness and concern of society in environmental conservation.
  • Realizing economic development with environmentally sustainability.
  • Creating a clean environment, healthy, comfortable, sustainable and beautiful Bali for present and future generations.
  • The strategy is: Green Culture and a Green Economy.

The past Governor Pastika said in support of this policy: “The role of traditional villages, rural communities and local religious leaders are key to the implementation of the program, Clean and Green Bali.” (The Jakarta Post, 16 June 2010)

The intention is to continue on this path throughout the eight regencies of Bali. basic policy, which is fertile ground for support of our diabetes/high blood pressure prevention and treatment program.

This strategic Indonesian province seems like it would be in favorable support of learning more about the new initiative for holistic diabetes prevention, treatment, and healthy village community programs on an ongoing basis. Our program aims to provide micro-loan business financing to develop organic veganic farming and diabetes prevention education and screening centers that would integrate with the Bali Clean and Green Program efforts. The integration part is very important for the success of the program in Bali.

As part of my overall organizing efforts I have also met with one of the major Hindu religious leaders, Eida Pedanda Ketut Sebali, who invited me to the World Hindu Confederation Summit meeting in Bali in mid-June and at that time offered to introduce me to Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono, the president of the Republic of Indonesia. The plan is to have There is A Cure for Diabetes published in Indonesian.

The focus in Bali will be local diets, prevention education, and diabetes and high blood pressure screening with trained health educators in each of its eight regencies. There will be much investment put into an Island-wide public diabetes prevention education with the emphasis on returning to the natural dietary ways. We will also use para-professionals to screen for type-2  diabetes and high blood pressure and to educate people in the schools and public at large. There is a strong group of people who can become volunteer educators here. We also have the verbal general support of the former governor and his sister, a physician, who has attended my lectures in Bali. The other major component of the program will be the micro-business program to create the emergence of vegan, organic farms in alignment with “Clean and Green Bali Program” launched by the governor. In this process we will be involving the two main universities and their agricultural departments, as these departments play an important role in Bali agriculture.

Our plan can easily be integrated into Bali’s culture and into the Bali Clean and Green Program’s mission and strategy, which is key for any success in Bali. The components are also in place for a diabetes treatment center for all of Bali. In general, the synergy of pre-existing conditions for the creation of a highly successful diabetes prevention and treatment program in Bali are outstanding.