Raising a child living with diabetes in Africa: Challenges and Motivations

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On May 27th The Nigeria Diabetes online Community conducted it’s monthly chat dedicated to children living with diabetes in Africa.

The chat that coincides with Children’s day in Nigeria drew participants from Nigeria, UK, South Africa and Ghana.

The children’s day chat reflects the reality that faces us as a nation and africa as a continent on the need for a vibrant healthcare sector to combat the scourge of diabetes.

All our participants have wards living with diabetes (we encourage parents and guardians to get their wards involved in social peer support chats online).

Most wards view living with diabetes as a burden (stressful,frustrating, depressive and expensive – in the words of pearl who has young relatives living with diabetes) with a few having a good insight of the condition.

Large percentage of our wards living with diabetes seemingly initially have a feeling of being the only ones with such condition in the world.
(A typical reflection of poor awareness of other children living with diabetes)

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Living with diabetes for children has been noticed to be emotionally challenging and it’s been suggested by experience that more interaction and peer support works in Ghana with listening ears producing better results  than criticisms.

Parents and guardians have been advised to stay involved in their children’s care even if such wards is able to manage his/her diabetes.

At this point parents should be aware of that their support, respect and love for each other has a direct impact on their child’s metabolism (a good thesis for research)

It was also noted that there’s a constant battle of emotions as the children hit their teens with their tendencies to want to fit in like their friends.

In cases when their emotions are really all over the place, a constant show of love, mentoring and continuous education about diabetes has been noted to be very helpful.

It was unanimously agreed by all participants that interacting with other children living with diabetes worldwide is very helpful with NGO’s and government being actively involved in ensuring living with diabetes for our children doesn’t end up as a death sentence.

We graciously call on the minister of health in all african countries to emulate the South Africa government who is said to provide free medications to include insulin and glucose strips.

The international diabetes federation life for a child has been commended for their active support in resource poor settings where insulin, glucometers and teststrips are provided for free.

We also call on governments to ensure these supplies gets to the children import tax free.

Wouldn’t it be great to see life saving medications donated for free exempted from import tax which could be enormous?

We wish to thank all our participants for their contributions and commitments to ensuring an healthy life with diabetes is achievable by our children.

Do you have or know any child living with diabetes?
Kindly get through to us on our platforms and we will be glad to connect.
thengdoc@gmail.com
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Twitter: @thengdoc

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