A WONDERFUL TRIP TO GHANA FOR DIABETES ADVOCACY TRAINING – Omolade Onafowokan

I had the opportunity of attending an advocacy program on the 22nd – 26th of August 2018. I went as a representative of my country Nigeria (The Nigeria Diabetes Online Community). The venue of the program was at the University of Ghana, Yiri lodge, Accra.

The advocacy program was organized by the SONIA NABETA FOUNDATION, DIABETES YOUTH CARE and Sponsored by T1 INTERNATIONAL, there were also many invited advocates from different country.

At exactly 9am on the 23rd of august the founder of T1 INTERNATIONAL, Elizabeth , open with the following contents. “The meaning of diabetes advocacy, T1 diabetes aim, Importance of diabetes awareness, advocacy plan, advocacy goal.”

After this inspiring step and perfect explanation of what she meant, she gave every advocate an assignment to do in his/her country. It was the most orderly and systematic arrangement I have experienced.

I learnt about ways of improving public awareness through diabetes education, because not all people that are diagnosed of diabetes accept the condition and the fact that they don’t accept means they are not willing to learn about diabetes.

Also, I also learnt about diabetes advocacy aim which helps to raise public awareness round the world in terms of access to insulin, test strip, supporting people with diabetes, organizing diabetes resources and campaigning for world diabetes day.  I learnt about the means of taking action to achieve a specific change in policy practice that could benefit people with diabetes based on good advocacy.

I learnt about speaking on what is important to us, by ensuring that voices of people living with diabetes are heard and by making a difference, standing up for our health right. It is a way of fighting for long term change so more people can have a better life with diabetes.

In numerous ways, I benefited from the experience. First, it paved way for me to know how my goal could be achieved based on advocacy’s key message. Second, the lecture enables me find a remedy to any advocacy issue I may encounter.  Finally, the experience I had was that I was able to gather a first – hand information on how my goal could be easily achieved.

My action plan is to organize a diabetes education program at school in November period, giving them information on what diabetes entails, because misconception about diabetes is one of the health challenges we face in our community and this brings about mismanagement of diabetes. “EDUCATION IS KEY”.

My goal is to make sure students are able to understand the facts and initiative about diabetes.

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