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MEET INSPIRING PEOPLE LIVING WITH DIABETES

Living with Diabetes in Africa could be a bit challenging especially when one is in Isolation.

Which is why we are coming up with list of people living with diabetes globally that didn’t allow Diabetes affect who they are.

They have proved beyond reasonable doubt through their dedication and exploits that #Diabetes can’t stop us irrespective of our age, race, social status and nationality.

PEOPLE LIVING WITH DIABETES THAT WILL INSPIRE YOU

Mohammad Al-Bahar (Kuwait)

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My name is Mohammad, I’m 31 years old, I was diagnosed with diabetes when I was 2 years old (DOD 25 May 1986).

I have graduated from College of Business Administration in 2006, majored in Management Information System / IT, pursued a professional insurance diploma from the Chartered Insurance Institute based in the United Kingdom, used to work in insurance for 5 years and now working in Land Development (Kuwait Direct Investment Promotion Authority).

I’m a Young Leader in Diabetes representing Kuwait and the MENA Region, my project is titled: “Diabetes Ambassadors Program”, which is mainly about spreading awareness about Type 1 Diabetes in Schools, colleges, universities as well as the workplace, to correct the misconception, fight discrimination and share our experience as diabetics about diabetes and how it can be managed and controlled.

My life with diabetes wasn’t easy, I had my highs and lows, in 2011 I went into a hypoglycemia coma, that experience lead me to take a stand and take good care of my health, I have learned carb counting and I’m currently using an insulin pump, I do exercise, extreme sports and have traveled the world.

I have considered diabetes as my friend … realizing that I’m not alone with diabetes, I have met an amazing group of people from all around the world diagnosed with diabetes, and we have learned from each other experiences that together we can control diabetes and live a healthy and a productive life just like everyone else, all we have to do is take certain measures into consideration.

Cherise Shockley (United States of America)

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I was diagnosed with Latent Autoimmune Diabetes in Adults in June 2004.

I have been an invited speaker and presenter on the topic of diabetes and social media. I founded Diabetes Social Media Advocacy (DSMA) to empower, support and connect people affected by diabetes.

Through DSMA’s Twitter chats and Blog Talk Radio shows we are able to focus on life with diabetes and at as a pillar that brings the diabetes online community together.

Diabetes is a frustrating condition; it’s up and down, but what helps me stay sane is a lot of prayer and my faith.  If I could offer one piece of advice, please do not allow diabetes to steal your joy.

Life is too precious to focus on the inconsistency of this condition; it’s not your fault. 

Elizabeth Rowley (United Kingdom)

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My name is Elizabeth Rowley. I was born in the United States and have lived with type 1 diabetes for over 20 years.

There are a lot of things that make living with diabetes a challenge, particularly because people with Type 1 diabetes never get a break. It never goes away. We constantly have to test blood sugar, calculate carbohydrates, estimate insulin levels, factor in exercise or activity to avoid high or low blood sugars – not to mention the emotional and psychological effects! This is all exacerbated for someone who is struggling to access their insulin, diabetes supplies, or lacks proper diabetes education – a subject I care deeply about.

I moved to London in 2011 to complete my Master’s degree in International Development and Humanitarian Emergencies at the London School of Economics and Political Science. During my course of study I gained the skills and confidence to set up T1International, a small charity that aims to raise awareness and make sure that everyone with type 1 diabetes has access to everything they need to survive and achieve their dreams. We have come a long way and, along with everyone that lives with or has a connection to type 1 diabetes, I know we can make a difference and address the fact that many people with type 1 diabetes are fighting for their lives daily due to lack of supplies, care, treatment, and education.

Living with diabetes has been a struggle for me personally, but I have done my best not to let it stop me from doing the things I want in life. It has given me a lot of determination and I am confident that by working together we can find creative and sustainable solutions to the complex problems faced by people with diabetes.

Yemurai Sammantha Machirori (Zimbabwe)

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Yemurai Sammantha Machirori

My name is Yemurai Sammantha Machirori, a 22 year old lady from Zimbabwe.
I was born on 31 October 1992 and I am currently studying tourism and hospitality management at one of our local colleges.

I was diagnosed with type one diabetes just a month before my 12th birthday, in September 2004. Accepting that I had diabetes was not much of a problem in my first two years of diagnosis, maybe because I was in an environment where I knew that everyone cared about me.

However, things started to change as I started senior school. Meeting new people and trying to fit into a new environment was difficult for both me and my diabetes and hence making my senior school years the worst of my diabetic life.

As I started college in 2012, I started working with my member association more, meeting more young people with diabetes and realising that diabetes was not a condition that only affected “old people”, something that I had been made to believe in senior school by the ladies I learnt with.

“I would like to help other children like me”… is what I told my mum on the night that I was diagnosed with diabetes and I was pushed a step towards my dream as I was approached by my member association to represent Zimbabwe as a young leader in diabetes in Melbourne (2012).
This gesture helped me a lot as I now appreciate my condition even more, and also determined to help other youths with diabetes in my country.

NGDOC partners with Ogun State Government

 

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The 21st of May was a memorable day for the students of Ogun State as the ministry of health launched its School Health Cadet program.

The School Health Cadets involves cross section of secondary school students from across Ogun State.
Their responsibility is to create a health conscious Community through their various activities in their schools and respective communities.

The Nigeria Diabetes Community partnered with the ministry of health to train the students on Diabetes education and Advocacy with the aim of creating adequate diabetes awareness at community level.

Special guests with The Honorable Commissioner for Health
Special guests with The Honorable Commissioner for Health

The Honorable Commissioner for Health Dr. Olaokun Soyinka charged the children to be health ambassadors in their communities creating passionate change that will make the communities a safer environment and healthier.

Among distinguished guests present at the launch are the representatives from Ogun State ministry of education, Dangote Groups, Talabi Diabetes Center, Unity Bank, Eli Lilly Pharmaceuticals and The Nigeria Diabetes Community .

Diabeducation manual for secondary school students
Diabeducation manual for secondary school students

A team of 10 participants to include students, a school teacher and school health worker from 10 schools across the 3 geographical zones in the states were trained.

Cross Section of Participants at the Program
Cross Section of Participants at the Program

 

It is expected that the team will  translate the knowledge acquired during the training to their colleagues at school and their respective communities.

Followup on their activities will be done through the school health unit of the department of public health.

PHOTOSPEAKS

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Facilitators
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Cross section of secondary school students
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Cross section of participants
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Cross section of secondary school students
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Cross section of secondary school students
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NGdoc Co-Founder speaking on ‘You too can save a life;role of youths in diabetes advocacy’
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A training unit with their facilitator
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A training unit with their facilitator
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A training unit with their facilitator
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Facilitators Meeting prior to the event at The Commissioner for health conference room.

 

Our Profound Gratitude goes to everyone who has supported this program and made it a reality most especially the sponsors of the diabeducation project:
Eli Lilly Pharmaceuticals
Mr Olumuyiwa Talabi – Talabi Diabetes Center
Dr Gbadebo Saba – Owokoniran Memorial Hospital
Dr Dunni Osofisan
Dr Okubenna Oladunni
Dr Tosin Ojo
Alhaja R.O Balogun

Diabetes and Sickle Cell Anaemia

The burden of Diabetes in resource poor settings are enormous and coupling it with other co-morbidities might not be a very pleasant experience.

A couple of days ago I met a young lady in her early 30s who was recently diagnosed with diabetes. Looking at her facie I requested for her genotype done and was surprised when the result came and she is SS- Sickle Cell Anaemia.

In my 3 years of Advocacy it has never occurred to me a possibility of both conditions coexisting and this lady got me thinking so I decided to conduct a mini research into it.

Sickle-cell disease (SCD ), also known as sickle-cell anaemia (SCA ) , is an inherited blood disorder , characterized by an abnormality in the oxygen carrying haemoglobin molecule in red blood cells .

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This leads to a propensity for the cells to assume an abnormal, rigid, sickle -like shape under certain circumstances. Sickle-cell disease is associated with a
number of acute and chronic health problems, such as severe infections, attacks of severe pain (“sickle-cell crisis”), and stroke , and there is an increased risk of death.

According to an article on Medscape, clinical experience in tropical countries with a high incidence of SCD indicates that the concurrence of SCD with either type 1 or type 2 diabetes is a rare finding.

Although there are no population-based data to determine the relative prevalence of diabetes among patients with SCD in the tropics, it seems that the SCD population enjoys relative ‘protection’ from diabetes.
Theoretical mechanisms for such protection would include the low BMI, hypermetabolism, and possibly other genetic factors.

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The situation in the tropics might be quite different from that in affluent countries, where blood transfusions are more widely used to palliate the anemia of SCD.

According to this article iron overload due to multiple transfusions can result in β-cell damage and decreased insulin production. The result can range from glucose intolerance to frank diabetes that requires insulin for control.

The analysis revealed that, for every 10 years of transfusion use, transfused subjects with SCD had 2.5-times greater odds of diabetes. The analysis showed, moreover, that transfused patients with thalassemia had 5.2-fold greater odds of diabetes compared with transfused patients with SCD.

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But beyond this scientific expose there is need for specialized adequate medical care for people living with diabetes and those who might have other co-existing morbidities such that the burden won’t lead to state of hopelessness, depression and mortality.

Food for thought:

After interacting with her I discovered she is from a middle class family hence she might be able to get her medical supplies but what if she were from a family living below the UN $1 a day poverty benchmark?
What will be her fate?

NGOs and advocates should brace up to stand for equity in medical access across board and a health system that can cater for people in dire need for support and care.

Adejumo Olamide H.

Contact us on thengdoc@gmail.com

Join the Nigeria Diabetes Online Community on twitter @theNGdoc and visit our website and blog www.ngdoc.com and www.ngdocblog.com respectively for more information.

Just One Less Sugary Drink A Day Makes A Difference

Just One Less Sugary Drink A Day Makes A Difference

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A new study on Diabetologia says that every 5% of a person’s daily energy intake that comes from sugary drinks correlates to an 18% higher risk of developing Type 2 Diabetes – that’s almost a 20% greater risk of developing Type 2 Diabetes for ever glass of sugary soda!

“The good news is that our study provides evidence that replacing a daily serving of a sugary soft drink or sugary milk drink with water or unsweetened tea or coffee can help cut the risk of diabetes,” said researcher Dr. Forouhi, adding that this allows them to “(offer) practical suggestions for healthy alternative drinks for the prevention of diabetes.”

The researchers’ analysis of the data, which accounted for a range of factors such as total energy intake, found that soft drinks and other sweetened beverages posed a particularly insidious risk, as opposed to the consumption of natural fruit juice, coffee, or tea.

News and Image Credit: Daily Health Post