TRIBUTE TO LAMIN DIBBA – GAVIN GRIFFITHS

Posted by The Nigeria Diabetes Online Community on April 19, 2020 under Information, NGDOC News, Society, Uncategorized | Be the First to Comment

Though hard to accept this loss at such a young age, sending a sincere thanks for the life of Lamin. Those here who crossed paths with him will only have happy and empowered memories of him and his great character, and all he achieved. – Gavin Griffiths.

The world rose to a rude awakening of the death of a well loved and respected African young leader in diabetes whose works has endeared him among friends and colleagues. Tribute flooded on my Timeline from respected leaders and founders of diabetes organizations around the world and i thought to reach out on imprinting his memories in the heart of million and billions of Africans to come. I have therefore asked the permission of Gavin Griffiths of Diathlete to feature his Eulogy of Lamin. Thank you Gavin for this opportunity.

Project in The Gambia: ‘Empower Me Today & I Will Forever be Strong’ in the words of Lamin:

“There are different activities, sessions and events as shown in the pictures.
I have run Educational Events for both Parents and there kids yearly, Home Visit for most of Young ones, Sessions at some of the elderly Young Leader’s Residence to talk about individual challenges, Family Education at home and hospital whenever a new patient is diagnose, I have also enroll few in Skill Training School to become Self Reliance and Few have also taken up Personal Business for Economic gain, in every year I run two Camps for those with poor HBA1c results with a year to better improve their status, ICT Group and CT Group, and finally we do conduct HBA1c Testing every Four months for good monitory scheme.
These are the activities, sessions and events in my 2015-2016 SELF EMPOWERMENT PROJECT, The Gambia.
I believe that the First Doctor for a Patient with Diabetes is Him/Her self. “Empower Me Today and I Will Forever Be Strong”

A PERSONAL STORY OF LAMIN – GAVIN GRIFITHS

Writing with sadness & emptiness in heart, after the loss of a wonderful human being, Lamin Dibba, this week. But sharing his message & some cherished memories which live on, as a small tribute that I wish we didn’t have to do.
Lamin was from The Gambia. He was born 7 Dec 1988. He was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes as you might imagine under challenging circumstances in essential healthcare access, but a key supporter took Lamin under his wing, Dr Gaye, helping Lamin to receive some crucial treatments. Dr Gaye saw potential in Lamin as an advocate, where Lamin became a leader in the Gambian Diabetes Association & regularly engaged in projects to help people / families diagnosed with diabetes in the Banjul region. In 2013 Dr Gaye put Lamin forward for an opportunity of a lifetime, he became an IDF Young Leader in Diabetes & attended the World Diabetes Congress & Training in Melbourne

On a personal level, this is where I met Lamin; we landed at a similar time & were picked up together from the airport. Lamin was one of the first international friends sharing diabetes in common I had. Everybody loved Lamin. Why? Because he was kind. He was honest. He was a gentleman who wished others well, with a unique passion to make a difference from his heart. He was also a family man. He did not have the easiest upbringing when losing his dear Mother. But he helped raise his 4 sisters, whom he loved greatly and spoke of with such high admiration.

Following our meeting in Australia, he inspired me. I didn’t know how to help, all I could do was run like an idiot & try to fundraise. This is where I owe Lamin thanks. At this point in my life I had been supporting major diabetes charities at home, but had grown frustrated perhaps in the corporate / political areas in our cause. Lamin shared his fire that refreshed my view. How grassroots is the way of impact. In 2014 a project had been dreamed up, partnering with Marjorie’s Fund on a fundraiser; it entailed 7 marathons over in the US in 7 days and a tour to reach communities, sharing awareness of diabetes in lower income countries. On completion of this adventure MF donated to Lamin’s project in The Gambia which he called “Empower Me Today and I Will Forever Be Strong.”

Following Melbourne, Lamin had also become good friends of Elizabeth Rowley (he thought the world of her) and the work of T1International, who further equipped him with advocacy training and support to develop projects and make them succeed. And succeed they did! With some funding to his local association, they had a hba1c testing device and made 4 month check ups to closely monitor local patients. Lamin and his team conducted home visits and educational programmes, they made camps and workshops. In one case, they managed to help a person go from a hba1c% above 14 to 7.9 within a 2 year span. In 2015, as the old YLD system used to work, Lamin was invited to return and complete his training at the World Diabetes Congress in Vancouver. He had the opportunity to present his work to the young leaders & at the congress.

One fond memory I have was when Lamin was preparing for his presentation, we had a lot of sessions and little time, so I ‘played the D card’ (said that Lamin wasn’t too well to get out of the session, though Paul might have known) and we gained an hour or so to prepare slides and practise. But to begin, we had to take a trip outside where there were white sheets on the ground; Lamin had never seen the snow before so a photoshoot was required!
He smashed the presentations, with the heart and spirit he always contained. In the years to follow – without going into the details of the IDF situation which followed – when times were tough, with Lamin in the YLD position of Africa regional chair, I knew he was someone to always turn to and rely on. He was a friend. And in our chats we would dream up how to change the world, put it all to rights.

He faced some hurdles with healthcare access. Initially he was supported until the age of 25 via an external programme that provided funds for essential diabetes costs. Once passing that age, or for those not under that programme, the cost of insulins and testing strips were self funded – not easy when in a location where trying to earn general funds to survive on is hard enough. This leaves a lot of people with little choice but to ration. Dr Gaye remained a protection for Lamin through most of those times, doing his best to support his advocate. Lamin dreamed of seeing the world, exploring a bit; and he achieved that against all odds. He saw Melbourne, Vancouver, and in 2017 he made it to Abu Dhabi, where again I’m sure any who met him there he left a lasting impression on. He passed over in Canada

Lamin was loved and appreciated by all he met; a hero we won’t forget. He stood for productive changes for those with diabetes, especially for those facing hardships and restrictions across Africa.
RIP brother.

GAVIN GRIFFITHS

Gavin Griffiths is the founder of Leagues of Diathlete a team of passionate ‘DiAdvocates’ living with T1 diabetes, and a connected alliance of diabetes patient organization shared around the world.

Sarah Akalugo to represent Nigeria in South Africa

Posted by The Nigeria Diabetes Online Community on October 1, 2019 under Diabetes Education, Information, News, NGDOC News, Society, Uncategorized | Be the First to Comment

Sarah Akalugo will be representing NGdoc at the forthcoming Pamoja Advocacy Training in SouthAfrica

We are excited to announce the selection of Sarah Akalugo to represent The Nigeria Diabetes Online Community at the forthcoming Pamojan Advocacy conference in South Africa.

This Pamojan advocacy training is organized by T1International – a UK based NGO and Sonia Nabeta Foundation – a US Based non profit with the aim to train Type 1 diabetes Africans across Africa on advocacy, strategies and policies approaches to diabetes care within the continent.

The training will bring together Type 1 from across the continent to build a cohesive force towards creating awareness about diabetes and combating the social stigma associated with living with diabetes in the continent.

Sarah who is a member of The Nigeria Diabetes Online Commmunity and also a community diabetes advocate looks forward to maximizing this opportunity.

We wish Sarah the best and look forward to her representing Nigeria well at the training and translate the knowledge acquired into awareness and advocacy strategies in Nigeria.

For more information on the Pamojan Advocates visit here

NGdoc partners with OOUTH to ensure insulin availability to children living with diabetes.

Posted by The Nigeria Diabetes Online Community on February 22, 2019 under Information, News, NGDOC News, Society | Be the First to Comment

Last year our co-founder launched an appeal to sponsor a child living with diabetes get essential medicine and consumables.
Thanks to our donors we were able to sponsor 5 children living with diabetes at the Olabisi Onabanjo University Teaching Hospital, Sagamu, Ogun State, Nigeria for the year 2018.

With your help we were not just only able to sponsor these kids and ensuring steady supply of insulin throughout the year but we also have insulin dedicated to the children emergency, so no life will be lost as a result of inability to buy insulin at the Children Emergency Room.
Steady strips were also made available to avail them the opportunity for continuous monitoring of their blood glucose.

On behalf of Barnabas Michelle, Bello Aminat, Nana Amisu, Daniel Timilehin and Racheal Favor we say a big thank you to those who supported this laudable cause and also anticipate their steady commitment for the coming year. If you wish to be a part of this project kindly send us an email on thengdoc(at)gmail(dot)com. Thank you

Talented Dr Chiemezie drops some bars on Type 2 DM Awareness

Posted by The Nigeria Diabetes Online Community on December 2, 2018 under Diabetes Education, Information, Society | Be the First to Comment

Talented Dr Ibe Chiemezie decided to hit the studio to drop some bars about Awareness on prevention and care for Type 2 diabetes.

We love this wonderful concept and requested for a feature on our blog.

Do enjoy the song.

Diabetes Mellitus

Diabetes mellitus aka D.M is a syndrome characterised by excessive blood sugar as a result of insulin deficiency or the body’s resistance to insulin.

There 4 types of DM:
Type 1 DM
Type 2 DM: Studies have shown that Type 2 diabetes mellitus is associated with over-eating and under activity
Gestational diabetes mellitus (GDM)
Other types of DM

Insulin Is the body’s hormone that keeps the blood sugar low and within normal and in its absence it rises beyond control

Common SYMPTOMS are
Excessive eating (polyphagia)
Excessive thirst/drinking of water (polydipsia)
Increased frequency and volume of urine
Weakness
Weight loss
Susceptibility to infection

COMPLICATIONS

Blindness
Numbness
Coma (Unconsciousness)
Kidney failure
Heart failure
Foot ulcer
Erectile dysfunction
Stroke
Death

Risk factors
Family History
Obesity
Alcohol
Pregnancy
Cigarette smoking

PREVENTION

Get regular check of your blood sugar at least 3monthly

Normal Fasting blood glucose levels 80-120mg/dl

Normal Random blood glucose levels 90-180mg/dl

During pregnancy register for antenatal care and get regular blood sugar check

Exercise

Eat balanced diet and fruits

Avoid Alcohol and cigarettes

See your doctor

Note :
Medication : Avoid self medication, see your doctor regularly at least 3monthly and take medication as prescribed

Diet:Avoid junk food and reduce soda consumption High fat foods consumed in excess may increase free fatty acids and excercebate insulin resistance. Sweetfoods rich in refined carbohydrates e.g junk food and soft drinks consumed frequently may increase demand for insulin secretion

Dr Ibe Chiemezie
#diabetesawareness

Follow Dr Chiemezie on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter

Dr Ibe Chiemezie

AFFORDABLE MEDICINE – INSULIN4ALL

Posted by The Nigeria Diabetes Online Community on November 12, 2018 under Diabetes Education, Information, NGDOC News, Uncategorized | Be the First to Comment

“#Insulin rationing is a crime against humanity. It shouldn’t happen. It is like a genocide; you’re not using machetes but you are systematically killing people”

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)

More about the event can be found below

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

Posted by The Nigeria Diabetes Online Community on October 15, 2018 under Diabetes Education, Information, News, NGDOC News, Society | Be the First to Comment

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

Posted by The Nigeria Diabetes Online Community on October 8, 2018 under Diabetes Education, Information, News, Society | Be the First to Comment

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

World BreastFeeding Week; Mothers who breastfeed for 6 months have 48 percent less risk of diabetes

Posted by The Nigeria Diabetes Online Community on August 9, 2018 under Information | Be the First to Comment

The world breast feeding week just wrapped up and theme was  “Breastfeeding: the foundation for life”

NgDOC is excited to promote and celebrate with the rest of the world.

“There could be greater health benefits for women from breastfeeding than previously recognized,” said lead study author Erica Gunderson of the Kaiser Permanente Division of Research in Oakland, California.

Compared to women who didn’t breastfeed at all, mothers who nursed babies for at least six months were 48 percent less likely to develop diabetes. Mothers who also breastfed for fewer than 6 months had 25 percent lower risk of developing diabetes.

In the past, it has been well known that aside from promoting good brain development because of some specific proteins like cysteine and taurine in breast milk, breastfeeding reduces the risk of a child developing allergic reactions, respiratory infections and now even diabetes!

It was a 30 year long study analyzed by researchers in the US from women in a heart health study and monitored throughout that time.

Scientists believe that there are good biological reasons why breastfeeding may protect against diabetes. For example, it is known to boost hormones which control blood insulin levels and lower blood sugar. It can also help new mothers lose pregnancy weight.

“We found a very strong association between breastfeeding duration and lower risk of developing diabetes, even after accounting for all possible confounding risk factors,” said lead author Dr Erica Gunderson, senior research scientist with the Kaiser Permanente Division of Research in California.

“The incidence of diabetes decreased in a graded manner as breastfeeding duration increased, regardless of race, gestational diabetes, lifestyle behaviors, body size, and other metabolic risk factors measured before pregnancy, implying the possibility that the underlying mechanism may be biological.”

“Breastfed babies are also less likely to become overweight later in life, reducing their risk of developing cancer in the future as well.”

Breastfeeding also reduces the risk for breast cancer in the mother.

This makes breastfeeding protective for both mother and child.

Only about 36% of infants aged 0-6 months worldwide were exclusively breastfed over the period of 2007-2014. The lives of over 820,000 children could be saved every year among children under 5 years, if all children 0-23 months were optimally breastfed.

WHO recommends exclusive breastfeeding starting within one hour after birth until a baby is 6 months old to promote health.

In spite of the benefits of breastfeeding, some women may face barriers to success, including lack of social support, lack of paid leave and lack of onsite childcare. Since breastfeeding provides a tremendous benefit for the child, mom and society, we want to keep encouraging women to breastfeed and create environments that support success.

The research was published in the journal JAMA Internal Medicine.

 

How Real Madrid’s Nacho did not let Diabetes Stop Him

Posted by The Nigeria Diabetes Online Community on June 27, 2018 under Information, NGDOC News, Society | Be the First to Comment

Heartbreak is an overused word in football, tagged on to every last-minute defeat, relegation or omission from a squad list. Real Madrid and Spain defender Nacho Fernandez Iglesias knows what it really means.

Real Madrid and Spain defender Nacho. Picture: Instagram / Nacho Fernandez Iglesias

Real Madrid and Spain defender Nacho. Picture: Instagram / Nacho Fernandez Iglesias

‘I was about 12 years old and had been at Real Madrid for a couple of years. It was a dream come true for a young boy to play in that shirt,’ he says.

‘I was about to go off and play a tournament with Real Madrid but I didn’t feel right.

‘I had this constant need to pee and I was drinking lots and lots of water. My mother was worried.

‘She decided to call the hospital. They carried out some tests and my blood-sugar levels were through the roof. I was diagnosed with (type 1) diabetes.

‘On the Friday the doctor told me there was no way I could go on playing football. Imagine any 12-year-old kid being told that. It was awful.’

Real Madrid and Spain defender Nacho. Picture: Instagram / Nacho Fernandez Iglesias

Real Madrid and Spain defender Nacho. Picture: Getty Image

It was 2002 and as well as playing in the club’s boys’ teams, Nacho was a Madrid fan who idolised Fernando Hierro and Zinedine Zidane. His dream of following Zidane into the first team had been crushed but the heartbreak would be short-lived.

‘On the Monday I went back into the hospital and I saw a different doctor, Dr Ramirez,’ he explains, and there is warmth in his voice when he says that second doctor’s name.

‘I was so happy because he said the opposite was true. He said sport was the most important thing for me and I had to carry on playing and competing. It wasn’t true that my condition meant I couldn’t be a sportsman. And here I am still fighting.’

Nine years later Jose Mourinho gave Nacho  his Real Madrid debut. Zidane is now his manager. He’s on his way to Kiev for his third Champions League final and then off to Russia with Spain.

The 28-year-old may be Madrid’s ‘fifth’ defender but many supporters would have him in the team. He is one of their own. They idolise him as the anti-galactico who still lives in the Madrid town of Alcala de Henares where he grew up and not in a gated millionaires-only neighbourhood.

If he does start on the bench on Saturday there will be no devastation. After being told he would never have a career, he is just happy to be there. Happy to have proved a player can cope with diabetes and still reach the top. ‘Diabetes doesn’t mean as a young kid you can’t have a normal life and practising sport is the most important thing in combating it,’ he says.

‘I have to give myself injections every day and I have to take care with food and drink that have a high sugar level. But sport for a person with diabetes is fundamental.’

When his debut came, it was Mourinho who gave it to him. He says: ‘I’ve only got good things to say about Mourinho. It’s not true that he doesn’t give young players a chance. He gave my brother Alex (now at Cadiz) his debut too, before me. In our family there is a lot of love for Mourinho.’

Nacho’s progression is not just an example for kids with medical conditions, he is also a beacon for homegrown players.

‘The canteranos (youth-team graduates) can be the soul of the club. Madrid is a difficult club to break through at because they have always had the best players. But the presence of homegrown players alongside the superstars has been fundamental.’

Zidane will hope that combination can deliver against Liverpool on Saturday night.

‘They have three spectacular players up front,’ says Nacho. ‘They are quick and they score goals. They will make it difficult but we have the defenders to deal with the threat.’

Woman Living With Diabetes No Longer Needs Insulin After Bioengineered Pancreas Transplant

Posted by The Nigeria Diabetes Online Community on October 2, 2017 under Information, News, NGDOC News, Research | Be the First to Comment

The major problem with type 1 diabetes is that the body produces antibodies that attack the body’s healthy islet cells in the pancreas which produces insulin. This limits insulin production making the body the body unable to make use of glucose gotten from diet leading to high blood sugar. The patient then has to makes rely on insulin injections or pumps to survive.

Before now, several research works have being aimed at transplanting islet cells from deceased donors into the liver but this has not been ideal The liver can only take few islet cells and with risk of bleeding.
Recently, researchers at the University of Miami Diabetes Research Institute have tried another location – the omentum, a fatty membrane in the belly.

A 43 year old single mother with a 25 year history of type 1 diabetes has been off insulin for over a year following islet cell transplant in the omentum. Before the transplant, she was said to have been on about 33 units of insulin per day. No surgical complications were observed during the procedure.

The researchers said

“The cells began producing insulin faster than expected, and after one year she is doing well and doesn’t need insulin injections”.

“We’re exploring a way to optimize islet cell therapy to a larger population. This study gives us hope for a different transplant approach,”

Dr. David Baidal, assistant professor in the University of Miami Research Institute who led the study said. The research is the first step towards developing a mini organ called BioHub.

The BioHub would be like a home to the islet cells providing it with blood supply and nutrition, making it easier to remove in cases of complications. The researchers plan to test the use of omentum as a site in 5 new patients.

IMPROVED LIFESTYLE
Baidal explained that

“Her quality of life was severely impacted. She had to move in with her parents. And, if she traveled, she had to travel with her father”.

This is indeed good news.
This is a step in the positive direction for about 422 million people worldwide living diabetes. It would also markedly save cost for insulin in the long term.
More information of this ground breaking research headed by Dr David A. Baidal can be seen in the New England Journal of Medicine.

Meanwhile, you can win an all expense paid trip to a Diabetes youth camp in Ghana. Click here for details