In 2012, as pre-clinical medical students and faced with the lapses in diabetes prevention and care in Nigeria and the African continent. My friends and I decided to create a platform for social peer support for people living with diabetes in Nigeria that is inexpensive and will have an optimal impact in the lives of people who erstwhile seem not to have that voice.
Thus, in March of 2012 we launched The Nigeria Diabetes Online Community (NGDoc). Mentored by our school professors, we started NGdoc at a time when social media health advocacy was not popular; we were immediately accepted by the global diabetes online community despite we ourselves not living with diabetes.
A huge thanks to Cherise, Kim, Bastian, Mike, Manny, Renza, Elizabeth, Erin, Paul and many others space won’t permit me to mention; the new organization grew into one of the biggest platform and loudest voice for people with diabetes in Nigeria and by extension the continent.
We silently fought the odds of running a non profit and studying to becoming doctors, we endured the challenges of advocacy – the issues from the social system at that time and overcame a little bit of the social stigmatization that made it difficult for people living with diabetes to go public. Thankful to God we came out victorious, some of us not without scars – but learnt from them.
It has been an amazing 7 years. From the outset it was our intention to eventually build NGdoc to a stage where people living with diabetes can run the platform and at that point we would eventually hand its administration over to a team living with diabetes in the spirit of ‘nothing about us without us’.
I thereby use this medium to extend my official stepping down from the administrative affairs of The Nigeria Diabetes Online Community to focus on personal matters. This process of transition has been on in the background for about a year and I am glad to announce Ms Bunmi Deborah as the new coordinator of The Nigeria Diabetes Online Community.
Ms Bunmi who will take the mantle of leadership of this organization has been handling the affairs of the group in an unofficial capacity over a year and officially for about a year. She has been living with type 1 diabetes for about 19 years. She is no doubt very passionate, efficient, humble and committed to the care of people living with diabetes in Nigeria.
Her erstwhile experience of working with people living with diabetes for over 10 yrs on how to create balance between living with diabetes and having a healthy life through diet and self love is a great resource to harness in helping Nigerians living with diabetes.
Ms Bunmi also advocates for universal access to insulin for Nigerians. I am convinced the organization is in great hands.
To my friends and executive board members – Drs Halimat Odewale, Bolaji Dauda and Kola Rosiji cheers to all the sleepless nights, trips across the African continent and sacrifices to make this day a reality. I Love you from the bottom of my heart.
To our partners, I say thank you for your support through this past 7 years to me personally and to the organization. To our executive board and volunteers who have sacrificed a lot in the past 7 years to make NGdoc what it is today I say a huge thank you and God bless you in your future endeavors.
The other members of the team and I still will be around in advisory capacity to the incoming Team of executives and volunteers Ms Bunmi is working on to be unveiled soon.
I know I can always count on your continual support for her and her team as she takes over full responsibilities in the coming weeks and years to come.
Many thanks once again and thank you all for your continual support as I signed out.
Dr Olamide Hakeem Adejumo