Category Archives: Diabetes Education

AFFORDABLE MEDICINE – INSULIN4ALL

These were the words from my mouth as i sit as a panelist in the Insulin4all panel of The Affordable Medicines Now Conference in Washignton D.C.

The Affordable Medicines Now is a training conference designed to build skills, knowledge and community among the activists (advocates) who power the movement for affordable medicines at the state, federal and international levels.

Hosted by O’NEILL INSTITUTE FOR NATIONAL AND GLOBAL HEALTH LAW and PUBLICCITIZEN with partnership from various local and international orgaisations; the objective was clear “Medications must be affordable” and its absolutely essential for us all to hold all stakeholders responsible.

From Rep Ro Khanna to Rep Peter Welch to Senators Cory Booker, Tina Schakowsky the messages were clear:

Medical innovations are from universities, public institutes of health (supported with tax payers money); while most of the medical innovators are not after the billions, their innovations are branded by MBA guys and profiteered.
Prescription drugs should be affordable.
The loopholes in governance that allows massive profiteering must be blocked and congress and governments must work in unison to ensure affordable health is for all.

In the midst of the well organized, highly educative meetup is my meeting Ola Ojewunmi a nigerian american disabled activist, founder @ProjectASCEND,cancer and 2 organ transplant survivor who spoke on the intersectionality (I was awed at the strength and resilience of Ola and i believe a lot of african feminist have a lot to learn from her view on intersectionality)

INSULIN4ALL AND HOW IT AFFECTS AFRICA

Africa although experiencing significant economic changes faces an epidemic of chronic non-communicable diseases (NCDs) including diabetes.

Some 425 million people worldwide, or 8.8% of adults 20-79 years, are estimated to have diabetes.
About 79% live in low and middle income countries. The number of people with diabetes increases to 451 million if the age is expanded to 18-99 years.

In Africa, an estimated 15.5 (9.8-27.8) million adults aged 20-79 years have diabetes, representing a regional prevalence of 2.1 (6%).

Africa also has the highest proportion of undiagnosed diabetes; over two-thirds (69.2%) of people with diabetes are unaware they have the disease and almost a third of them need insulin – both insulin-dependent type 1 children living with diabetes and people living with type 2 diabetes who need to take insulin.

An estimated 50,600 children and adolescents under the age of 20 are living with type 1 diabetes with nigeria being the 9th largest country with children living with diabetes worldwide.

INSULIN PRICING AND ITS TOLL ON AFRICA

Availability of insulin:

The inconvenience and additional travel costs as a result of unavailability of insulin in some localities will definitely lead to disrupted treatment and eventual poor management of blood glucose and eventually lead to complications.

Affordability of insulin

The pricing cost of insulin is high which makes it unaffordable.
In Nigeria, for instance it costs about 12usd to get a vial of insulin which may look relatively cheap as compared to a country like The United State of America; however for a country like nigeria where 92.1% live in poverty this is equivalent to a 10 working day wages.

Policy implications

The out of pocket cost of hospital visits, insulin and other consumables makes it difficult for People living with diabetes to maintain their blood glucose and also visit hospitals regularly for checkups.

Lack of healthcare workers and facilities factor in the lack of adequate care for example in countries like uganda, sierra leon,the gambia to mention a few.

Only 11 countries of the 58 countries in africa has universal health coverage.

Religion and Culture

A major issue affecting diabetes care especially with children living with diabetes is the tendency of parents and caregivers to quickly fall back to alternatives in cases of inability to buy insulin or visit hospitals.
Top of the list of alternatives are the religious and traditional centers.
Major setback to these care is the limited understanding and unwillingness to refer peopele to hospitals for adequate care.
This most often leads to complications and in some cases death.

It is to this end that it is important for us all as individuals to demand for action from the executive and legislative arms of government into ensuring
Insulin access being a high priority for government

Diabetes programmes must be integrated and evidence based, highlighting the scale of the problem and areas for effective intervention

1)Reduction in the purchase price of insulin and medical devices
2)Improving geographical access to insuilin by ensuring NCD clinics are available at primary care health centers closer to people in rural areas
3)Incorporate Insulin into healthcare coverage schemes

References:

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.

A Bad Case- An Original Comedy Series Surrounding Diabetes

A Bad Case is an original comedy series about four friends and what happens when diabetes shows up at the worst possible moment. It is  a message of hope to the world. It’s comedy about when diabetes goes all wrong and easily relatable.

According to Erin Spinento who also directed the movie:

Hollywood has consistently gotten our story wrong. They have used diabetes as a handy plot tool to raise the stakes for a story. From minor mistakes to huge blunders, they are sharing an inaccurate story of what it means to live with diabetes.

It is time to change that narrative. It is time to have our stories told accurately and in depth. A Bad Case is the story of four friends who handle their diabetes very differently. There is a good chance you will see yourself in at least one of the characters on screen. For the first time, a viewer might be able to relate to someone just like her, who has the same outlook or quirks, who has developed the same strategies for dealing.

Knowing how crucial a positive outlook is on doing a good job of taking care of diabetes, a series that focuses on diabetes and humor could have an incredible impact on those who are struggling with the difficulty of this condition.

Personally, the only way I can deal with such a long-term and difficult situation is to find the humor, even if it is a sort of gallows humor. When we can come to a point of laughing at the absurd difficulty, we gain perspective and a renewed sense of strength to keep on fighting.  

I want to produce this series to explore a new medium for pursuing the same mission I have always had when it comes to interacting with the diabetes community; to empower people to take amazing care of their diabetes.

You can watch, follow the series and support the project here

For interviews or more info, please contact:

Erin Spineto, Sea Peptide Productions. erin@seapeptide.com

Prediabetes : a point of no return?

Diabetes is a condition where a person has high blood glucose levels due to problems with insulin production or utilization.

Insulin is an hormone produced by the Pancreas that helps to mop up glucose from the blood and mobilise it into tissues especially adipose (fatty) tissue and muscles.

Diabetes is a common word, but Prediabetes is less so.

The onset of type 2 diabetes is usually preceded by an asymptomatic preclinical state known as prediabetes.

Prediabetes is a condition where a person has higher than normal blood sugar level but not quite high enough to make a diagnosis of full blown type 2 diabetes. The progression from Prediabetes to diabetes may occur rapidly or over a couple of years depending on lifestyle modification.

The prevalence of prediabetes ranges in adults from 2.2% to 16.2% with a prevalence of 7.3% in sub-Saharan Africa.

It’s estimated that 90 percent of those with prediabetes are unaware that they have the condition. An estimated 86 million Americans have prediabetes, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. According to American Diabetes Association, Prediabetes alone increases the risk of heart disease and stroke by 50 percent. However, no statistics is available for the Nigerian population.

An international expert panel now recommends the A1C test ( which is the measure of blood glucose over the past two to three months ) to diagnose diabetes in everyone except pregnant women. Before now, diabetes was diagnosed by checking fasting or random blood glucose.

Researchers have shown that while one blood sugar test can be elevated at a particular time, the A1C test is a surer way of diagnosing diabetes. A1C of 5.6 and below is considered normal, 5.7-6.4 is termed Prediabetes and 6.5 and above is diabetes.

Checking fasting blood sugar is however still relevant and normal fasting blood sugar (before meal in the morning) levels is usually between 70-100 mg per dl. A blood sugar level between 100-125 is considered Prediabetes or Impaired fasting glucose while that from 126 and above is diagnosed Diabetes. Random blood sugar of less than 140 is considered normal, 140-199 is prediabetes while 200 and above is diabetes.

What Increases Your Risk of Prediabetes?

The eight risk factors identified by the American Diabetes Association include

Family history

Weight (especially abdominal)

Low physical activity

Age (more common in people above 45 years)

Race/ ethnicity ( More common in the African American, Hispanic/Latino, American, Indian, Asian American, or Pacific Islander)

A history of diabetes while Pregnant

Polycystic ovarian syndrome (presence of multiple cysts in the ovary)

Other factors like high blood pressure and high cholesterol levels.

Is Prediabetes Reversible?

It’s very possible for a reversal of a Prediabetic state by healthy diet and exercise. This shows a need for regular check up to regulate blood sugar early enough.

What can be done to reverse Prediabetes?

Loosing weight and increasing physical activity and health diet can reduce or prevent the rate of progression to diabetes. Diet and exercise should focusing on loosing 5-7 percent of weight .

An Harvard School of Public Health study showed that women who took a brisk 30-minute walk every day lowered their risk for diabetes by 30 percent.

Proper management of prediabetes is important to curb the imminent type 2 diabetes epidermic.

RAMADAN KAREEM

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This is the period where our dear muslim friends, family and colleagues fast for a period of time. Fasting during Ramadan, a holy month of Islam, is an obligatory duty for all healthy adult Muslims and its duration varies between 29 and 30 days. Its timing changes with respect to seasons.

Depending on the geographical location and season,the duration of the daily fast may range from a few to more than 20 hours. Muslims who fast during Ramadan must abstain from eating, drinking, use of oral medications, and smoking from predawn to after sunset; however, there are no restrictions on food or fluid intake between sunset and dawn.

Most people consume two meals per day during this month, one after sunset, referred to in Arabic as Iftar (breaking of the fast meal), and the other before dawn, referred to as Suhur (predawn).
Now the question is, what food or fluid intake do one use to break or start this fasting.

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As we know, fasting is not meant to create excessive hardship on the Muslim individual.
Diabetes is a chronic metabolic disorder which may place one at high risk for various complications if the pattern and amount of meal and fluid intake is markedly altered.

Due to loss of energy, weakness and dehydration. Most people rush for food that contains carbohydrate. Foods like rice, yam, spaghetti etc, inorder to gain their strength back.

This is not right, it only increases blood sugar which makes one restless and dizzy, which only makes matter worse. So how can we live healthy, during this fasting period.

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1.) Water should be the first intake as soon as one wants to break fast. We must ensure we take as much as possible throughout the evening till dawn. It will help the circulation of blood in ones system, reduce dehydration and cleanse it. Avoid drinks with caffeine.

2.) Start meal with fruits. Fruits like watermelon, oranges,blueberries-Blueberries are awesome choice. They are packed with dietary fiber, vitamin C, and flavonoids. Flavonoids are phytonutrients and help to boost ones immune system and fight off infection. They could also help fight off bad cholesterol and keep the heart and arteries healthy.
Grapefruits-They are packed with antioxidants, especially in the ruby red variety. It lowers bad cholesterol by 20% and triglycerides by 17%.

3.) Take in enough protein. Due to not eating anything for over 17-20hrs, the body will be feeding on itself. So there is need to rebuild this areas. Source of protein that will be good includes;
Tofu-Even if not a vegetarian, tofu is a great product to integrate in diet. It is made from soy, which is high in niacin, folate, zinc, potassium, iron, and the fatty acid alpha-linolenic. This can turn into the hugely beneficial omega-3 fatty acid

Beans-Beans are a great alternative because they are high in fiber and protein. They are also packed with vitamins and minerals like folate, iron, magnesium, and potassium.

Also, other meals like brown rice, amala (instead of yam flour try plaintain flour), wheat flour( easily digested), non- starchy vegetables, fish, skinless chicken etc.

While the iftar meal is a celebration time, try not to overeat.
Keep sensible portions in mind and follow the same guidelines for healthy eating done during the rest of the year with emphasis on whole grains, lean sources of meat, fish and poultry and small amounts of heart healthy fats.

This Article is written by Damilola Shobiye a Student of Nutrition and Dietetics from Babcock University, Ilishan-Remo, Ogun State, Nigeria.
To be our Guest Blogger on the Nigeria Diabetes Online Community kindly send your article to us on thengdoc@gmail.com, follow us on @theNGdoc and like our facebook page www.facebook.com/NGDOC

Merck Diabetes and Hypertension Awards

Merck Diabetes Award

All medical undergraduates and postgraduates are invited to apply for the

Merck Diabetes Award 2017
Theme: Every Day is a Diabetes Day

Please submit a concept paper about:

  • How to improve the awareness about Diabetes Early Detection and Prevention in your country.
  • How to encourage your society, scientific community, local authorities, media and relevant stakeholders to Think and Act on Diabetes Every Day.
  • Your ideas of developing new policies, strategies, social media campaigns and more.

 

Merck Diabetes Award 2017

is:

“Postgraduate Diabetes Diploma with University of South Wales. Winners will be invited to attend the Merck Africa Luminary on 24th-25th October, 2017 in Cairo, Egypt to receive the award”.

Merck Diabetes Award is being rolled out in many of the African and Asian universities as part of our commitment to building diabetes capacity and improving access to quality and sustainable healthcare solutions in developing countries.

The aim of Merck Diabetes Award is to create a Diabetes Experts Platform across the globe.

Please submit your one page concept paper to:
submit@merckdiabetesaward.com

Submission deadline is 31st July 2017

Entry requirements:

Postgraduate Diploma

Health professionals, both UK and overseas, with an honors degree or equivalent (including international qualifications) are eligible to apply for the PG Diploma Diabetes course online.

Non graduates are also encouraged to apply (applicants will be asked to submit a piece of work for assessment to confirm that they are able to work comfortably at degree level).

Applicants should submit copies of the following with their application:

  • qualification certificates
  • one written reference
  • English language qualification (IELTS 6.5 or equivalent) please see University of South Wales for further details

Merck Hypertension Award

All medical undergraduates and postgraduates are invited to apply for the

Merck Hypertension Award 2017

Theme: What the Healthy Heart needs

Merck Hypertension Award is being rolled out in many of the African and Asian universities as part of our commitment to building healthcare capacity and improving access to quality and sustainable healthcare solutions in developing countries.

The aim of Merck Hypertension Award is to create a Hypertension Experts Platform across the globe.

To raise the required awareness to control and prevent hypertension, countries need systems, policies and services in place to promote universal health coverage and support healthy lifestyles: eating a balanced diet, reducing salt intake, avoiding harmful use of alcohol, getting regular exercise and stopping the use of tobacco.

Please submit a concept paper about:

  • How to improve the awareness about hypertension control and prevention in your country.
  • How to encourage your society, scientific community, local authorities, media and relevant stakeholders to think and act on Hypertension Every Day
  • Your ideas of developing new policies, strategies, social media campaigns and more.

Merck Hypertension Award 2017
is:

“Postgraduate Diploma in Preventive Cardiovascular Medicine with University of South Wales. Winners will be invited to attend the Merck Africa Luminary on 24th-25th October 2017 in Cairo, Egypt to receive the award”.

Please submit your one page concept paper to:
submit@MerckHypertensionAward.com

Submission deadline is 31st July 2017

Entry requirements:

Postgraduate Diploma

Health professionals, both UK and overseas, with an honors degree or equivalent (including international qualifications) are eligible to apply for the PG Diploma Diabetes course online.

Non graduates are also encouraged to apply (applicants will be asked to submit a piece of work for assessment to confirm that they are able to work comfortably at degree level).

Applicants should submit copies of the following with their application:

  • qualification certificates
  • one written reference
  • English language qualification (IELTS 6.5 or equivalent) please see University of South Wales for further details

For more information visit Merk’s Official website

MYTH 2: DIABETES IS A DEATH SENTENCE by Opawale Damilola

We recently started the discussion about Myths and Facts on Diabetes. If you missed the last post, kindly click here.

Today, we will continue on the discussion

MYTH 2: DIABETES IS A DEATH SENTENCE

FACT

Diabetes is not a death sentence. We established the last time that diabetes is a serious condition and is presently not curable. However, a diabetes diagnosis does not mean that you have been given an “expiry date”. It simply means you have to pay more attention to your health than before. 

There are several people who have lived with the disease for many years, some several decades and still living normal healthy lives without complications. 

We have a few testimonials from some of them:

Miss O.O, 17 years old – “I have been diabetic for 5 years. My living has been managed through regular use of Insulin, daily exercise, controlled diet, regular blood sugar checks and regular clinic visits. I am living well and happy”

Mrs. A.C. 52 year old diabetic diagnosed 9 years ago – “Basically what keeps me going is that I take my medications regularly, I choose my food carefully and I attend clinic regularly”

Mr. J.S – “When I was first diagnosed with the disease, I went online and read articles to educate myself. Diabetes education was a life saver for me. I have relationship with my doctors and that has been of great help”

 I will make attempts to outline a few things people living with diabetes must do to ensure that they live healthy and without complications

1. Have a positive attitude: Many people die not because the disease killed them but because they allowed the diagnosis to overwhelm them. Make up your mind to be happy, positive and active regardless of the fact that you have the disease

2. Get informed – Get information from authentic sources (Your doctors, support groups, books). This will help you understand better about the disease and how it should be managed. 

3. Drug Compliance: Take your medications religiously. Let your doctors prescribe drugs for you.

4. Know yourself – You need to know yourself to be able to recognize signs of when your sugar is going too low (hypoglycemia) or too high (hyperglycemia) and you need to know what to do at those times.

5. Diet Control: Contrary to the old teaching that diabetics have to eat only unripe fruits and vegetables. Studies have shown that diabetics can actually eat most of the food every other person eats, only that they need to eat them in right proportions. It is advisable to eat more of food that are high in fibre and low in calorie. Your doctor should educate you more about this.

6. Regular exercise: This also helps to control your blood sugar better, reduce weight, slows down ageing and improves heart function. However, rigorous exercise is not advised. Exercises recommended include brisk walking, swimming, cycling, Dancing, Playing court games, etc. 

7. Regular Clinic visit

8. Regular blood sugar checks

9. Avoid cigarette and alcohol consumption. These can worsen the disease.

10. Weight loss

11. Participate in support groups. 

People living with diabetes will benefit a lot from family support. 

In conclusion, Diabetes is a serious health condition which may have devastating consequences if not properly managed. 

People living with the disease must be ready to take responsibility for their health and they can live normal healthy lives. 

Please feel free to drop your questions and comments.

Feel free to send your diabetes related articles to thengdoc@gmail.com

Dr Oluwadamilola Opawale is a medical practitioner with interest in Public health and preventive medicine. She has had a stint of experience from the famous St. Nicholas hospital as a clinician.

She is also the President of IBuildAfrica Foundation, an NGO that reaches out to female adolescents, helping them maximize their potentials environment and background notwithstanding.

She has a passion to teach people how to stay healthy by imbibing healthy lifestyle and choices. 

NGDOC D-Meetup 2017

The Nigeria Diabetes Online Community is organizing a D-Meetup for Children living with diabetes in Nigeria.
The aim of the D-Meetup aims to create an amazing experience for children living with diabetes in a medically safe environment and will run over a weekend.

The activities will centre around children living with diabetes between the ages of 12 – 21 years to meet and share their experiences with one another as they learn to take responsibility for their health status and also to create in them a “I can do it” attitude as they improve on their self-esteem.

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This meetup will include meeting with People living with Diabetes Globally, Nutritionist, Paediatric endocrinologist; Tourism; Games; Dinner amongst others.

It also will foster their physical activities and more controlled access to food relative to their experience at home while monitoring a good glycemic control.


Interested in partnering with us contact us on ngdoc@gmail.com or ngdocdmeetup@gmail.com

Do you know any child living with diabetes within the age of 12 – 21 years kindly encourage them to fill the form to participate.

Are you interested in sponsoring this event or volunteering your time and talent to make this event a success? Kindly fill this form.

HEALTHUCATE TO ORGANIZE FREE HEALTH SCREENING TO COMEMMORATE 2016 WORLD DIABETES DAY.

On November 14 every year, the whole world joins forces to raise awareness about diabetes, its prevention and management. 

This year, the theme is Eyes on Diabetes and one of the key messages is that screening for type 2 diabetes is important to modify its course and reduce the risk of complications. 

Healthucate Nigeria, a health promotion social enterprise charging to the frontlines in the fight against Nutrition Related Non-Communicable Diseases (NRNCDs) will conduct a week long free health screening exercise in Abeokuta, Ogun State to commemorate the 2016 World Diabetes Day.

Free health screenings such as blood pressure and blood sugar and Body Mass Index (BMI) would be available on Monday, 14th and Wednesday, 16th November at Healthucate’s Nutrition and Wellness Centre in Aladesanmi, Abeokuta between 9 a.m. and 12 noon. 

On Saturday, the 19th, a mobile testing clinic would be set up at Abiola Way to enable more people have access to get tested. 

On Saturday, Rapid Diagnostic Tests for malaria would also be carried out with provision of subsidized ACT drugs for positive cases.

A Nutritionist and Dietician would be on ground to offer counselling to the participants while suspected diabetes cases will be referred to a health facility. 

Through this free health screening, Healthucate hopes to test over 300 persons for diabetes type 2 and reach out to over 700 persons with information about diabetes prevention and management.

For more information, you can reach Healthucate via email at info@healthucateng.org or phone at 08154664638

FDA APPROVES ARTIFICIAL PANCREASE SYSTEM.

According to the American Diabetes Association, the FDA approved the first hybrid insulin delivery system on the 28th of September, 2016. 

This critical step, according to the ADA website in the development of an artificial pancreas is an important milestone for people with type 1 diabetes.

The MiniMed 670G is the first pump-sensor system to automatically adjust basal insulin levels, up or down, based on continuous glucose readings from an integrated continuous glucose monitor.

Patients will continue to make insulin dosing decisions at mealtime, with the MiniMed 670G providing dose recommendations based on the patient’s blood glucose levels and trends.

Patients will also need to perform finger-stick glucose checks for calibration of the device. 

The system is appropriate for anyone who is currently using or is a good candidate for an insulin pump. 

The FDA has approved the MiniMed 670G for people age 14 and older.

We are excited for this advancement, and we look forward to the development of the next phase of automated systems that can provide bolus doses of insulin. We envision that these incremental innovations will lead to a fully automated closed-loop system to provide optimal glucose control and independence for people with diabetes.

HOW DOES A CONTINUOS GLUCOSE MONITOR (CGM) WORK

CGM is a way to measure glucose levels in real-time throughout the day and night. 

A tiny electrode called a glucose sensor is inserted under the skin to measure glucose levels in tissue fluid. 

It is connected to a transmitter that sends the information via wireless radio frequency to a monitoring and display device. The device can detect and notify you if your glucose is reaching a high or low limit.

To engage with the Diabetes Online Community follow The Nigeria Diabetes Online Community on Facebook NGDOC and on Twitter @theNGdoc

– See more at: http://www.diabetes.org/newsroom/press-releases/2016/american-diabetes-association-FDA-approval-first-hybrid.html?referrer=https://t.co/VkIIhiSJFd#sthash.qkMPxHBk.dpuf