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02 October 2023

News from Europe

Using social media to raise awareness of diabetes: an interview with Michele Sette, young leader from Italy

Social media and online communities have expanded the reach of diabetes advocates. We have talked to Michele Sette, young leader in diabetes from Italy and participant to the 2013 IDF Europe Youth Leadership Camp, about the use of social media and online communities to help raise awareness of diabetes. Here he shares with us his own experience about using social media to spread the word about diabetes in Italy.

ItalyMichele is convinced that social media and online communities have a unique added value when it comes to raise awareness of diabetes, and gathering support for a wide range of initiatives and campaigns. "Social media is the perfect tool for us as associations and advocates from the diabetes community to reach out to and build strong relationships with a broad range of audiences, from people with diabetes to the general public, and including industry partners or governmental bodies," he says.

"I'm a member of 3 different associations in Italy: AGD Como, a local association for young people with diabetes, Adiuvare - the diabetes association of the city of Varese, and ANIAD - the national diabetes atheletes association. All three of them have a strong presence online and on social media sites such as Facebook", he adds. "This is an essential tool for them to reach out to their communities and gather support."

Social media has also allowed to greatly reduce costs when it comes to organize, gather support for or promote events and campaigns. Using exclusively online channels, Michele helped organize the charity run for diabetes "Chi ha il diabete non corre da solo" (People with diabetes don't run alone). "With Adiuvare, we organized this event exclusively "online": using Facebook, posting videos on Youtube and via e-newsletter. In total we were able to mobilize 400 people who to part in the 8km charity run. With the help of the association and other partners, we also performed 250 blood glucose tests."

"Using social media sites like Facebook, Twitter but also Instagram and YouTube really make the difference when you want to get your message out", concludes Michele. "In the end associations and advocates who use these tools are going to be much more visible than those who don't."

For more information visit the association's wesbite and Facebook pages, or contact Michele at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

AGD Como: - Facebook Page
Adiuvare: - Facebook Page

You can also watch a video of the 2012 diabetes run "Chi ha il diabete non corre da solo" on YouTube.