Category Archives: Society

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

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

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.’

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.

wpid-aviary_1448913080416.jpg

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.

POLITICS OF DIABETES IN NIGERIA

The recent series of tweets by the USA senator and presidential aspirant, Senator Bernie Sanders, ‘attacking’ insulin makers, that followed a letter sent by him and his counterpart in the House of Representatives to the Department of Justice and Federal Trade Commission on the need for investigating insulin makers for price collusion was a result of his identification with diabetes (which runs in his family) especially during his campaign for Democrats nomination.

Bernie is not the only USA politician advocating on behalf of the People Living with Diabetes (PWD) , Senator Jenne Shaheen who is the leader of the US Senate Diabetes Caucus was quoted to be committed to ensuring that diabetes is a ” priority for legislation no matter what happens in the election” of 2012.  Her commitment could also be linked to her identification with her diabetic granddaughter.

Moreover, the revelation by the UK Prime Minister, Theresa May, on her Type 1 diabetes status in addition to the functional relationship between the UK Parliament and several diabetes groups in the UK points to the fact that fight for the people with diabetes is a major cause for UK politicians. The act of identifying with diabetes and other non communicable diseases by politicians is a common trend across the developed countries, and this has propelled them to advocating, legislating and making policies for the education, prevention, diagnosing and management of diabetes mellitus in their respective countries.

One of the tweets by Bernie Sanders on his twitter handle @sensanders reads “in the richest nation in the world diabetes patients are being forced to decide between eating and paying for the drugs they need”.

I was prompted to respond by comparing the condition of the people with diabetes (PWD) in poor and unstable nations with those in rich countries that are being sympathised with.

Also, my reaction to the letter by Bernie and his colleague on insulin price is by asking for who are to be the defenders for the “weak and helpless” people living with type 1 diabetes (PWT1D) in poor countries like Nigeria.

My last response was inspired by the attitude of politicians across Africa especially Nigeria where disclosure of true health status of politicians seems abominable whether they are being affected by common diseases or not.

Their practice is to embark on medical tourism to developed countries for treatment and management of such diseases secretly  while people only engage in speculation about their health status . For instance, former President Olusegun Obasanjo was forced to disclose his battle with diabetes over several number of years by his need to get votes for his successor who later died in government due to a then undisclosed ailment. This was at the tail end of his (Obasanjo) eight year tenure.

The failure of Nigerian politicians to identify with non-communicable diseases especially diabetes, by which many of them are believed to be affected, and their ability to travel abroad for treatment make them not to have any inspiration or encouragement to make any specific serious legislation, policy or advocacy that is needed to support the common people on the care and management of diabetes, as many are being afflicted and killed by the disease due to their helplessness.

This is evident in the absence of any specific health policy or program on diabetes, lack of appropriate medical facilities for diagnosis and care, inadequate funding for non-communicable diseases, shortage of diabetes specialists and caregivers, inadequate education on prevention and management of diabetes, absence of any parliamentary resolution on diabetes and absence of any regulation on access to and price of diabetic drugs, (especially insulin) among others.

However, according to International Diabetes Federation (IDF), as at year 2015 out of 415 million people living with diabetes in the world, 75 percent are in the poor and middle income countries with Sub-Sahara Africa accounting for 14.2 million . It is shown that prevalence rate of diabetes in Nigeria is 1.9 percent for adults and 3 out of 100,000 children while around 949, 900 persons are undiagnosed. Among 5 million people that die due to diabetes annually across the world Nigeria accounts for more than 40,000. Relatively, Nigeria leads in the number of incidence of and mortality rate from the disease in Africa.

Meanwhile, the current economic condition, a result of economic recession, in the country is making self management of diabetes unaffordable for the people living with diabetes.

The reliance on importation of all the much needed diabetic supplies,  continuous fall in the exchange rate of Naira to foreign currencies, galloping inflation and dwindling real income have all contributed to unaffordability and inaccessibility of the supplies most especially insulin.

The price of each of the items has skyrocketed to about 150 percent increase within a short period of eight months. Choosing myself as a typical sample of an average  person living with diabetes in the country , my monthly costs of supplies currently within Lagos metropolis could be broken down as follows :

Insulin ( Mixtard of 100 IU)              N5500 per vial

Syringes                                                       N2500 per pack of 100 units

Glucometer (Accu-chek Active)    N8000

Meter test strips                                    N4600 per pack

Diabetic multivitamin                        N3400

All these prices are only obtainable within Lagos which is the major commercial city in the country, but in other cities and towns most of the supplies are either much more costlier or not totally available. Meanwhile , my monthly income stands at around N25000 out of which I spend around N16000 on the supplies (64 percent) . The cost of transportation and other implicit costs are yet to be included.

Despite all the available statistics on diabetes, though actually underestimated because of absence of credible medical data gathering in the country, and the plight of the people living with diabetes in managing the condition there is no any serious political will on the part of policy makers, and in spite of signing up with Global Action on Non-communicable diseases, to help the people with diabetes out of the challenges being faced in the need to lead fulfilled lives, and reduce the level prevalence of the disease.

Nigeria is only chosen in this article as a reflective sample for all the poor and politically unstable countries of the world, which means that the conditions of the people living with diabetes in these countries, especially in Africa, need urgent and serious actions on the part of their politicians on supports for adequate management as well as on the need for measures for prevention to reduce the rate of prevalence.

So, the question still remains as who will fight for the ‘weak and helpless’ people living with diabetes in the poor countries?

Olafimihan Nasiru Titilope is living with diabetes can be reached on nasoola77@yahoo.com

 

The article posted is strictly the responsibility of the author. NGdoc  will not be liable for any errors, omissions, or any losses, injuries, or damages arising from its display or use. This article is featured on an as-is basis.

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

Raising a child living with diabetes in Africa: Challenges and Motivations

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On May 27th The Nigeria Diabetes online Community conducted it’s monthly chat dedicated to children living with diabetes in Africa.

The chat that coincides with Children’s day in Nigeria drew participants from Nigeria, UK, South Africa and Ghana.

The children’s day chat reflects the reality that faces us as a nation and africa as a continent on the need for a vibrant healthcare sector to combat the scourge of diabetes.

All our participants have wards living with diabetes (we encourage parents and guardians to get their wards involved in social peer support chats online).

Most wards view living with diabetes as a burden (stressful,frustrating, depressive and expensive – in the words of pearl who has young relatives living with diabetes) with a few having a good insight of the condition.

Large percentage of our wards living with diabetes seemingly initially have a feeling of being the only ones with such condition in the world.
(A typical reflection of poor awareness of other children living with diabetes)

image

Living with diabetes for children has been noticed to be emotionally challenging and it’s been suggested by experience that more interaction and peer support works in Ghana with listening ears producing better results  than criticisms.

Parents and guardians have been advised to stay involved in their children’s care even if such wards is able to manage his/her diabetes.

At this point parents should be aware of that their support, respect and love for each other has a direct impact on their child’s metabolism (a good thesis for research)

It was also noted that there’s a constant battle of emotions as the children hit their teens with their tendencies to want to fit in like their friends.

In cases when their emotions are really all over the place, a constant show of love, mentoring and continuous education about diabetes has been noted to be very helpful.

It was unanimously agreed by all participants that interacting with other children living with diabetes worldwide is very helpful with NGO’s and government being actively involved in ensuring living with diabetes for our children doesn’t end up as a death sentence.

We graciously call on the minister of health in all african countries to emulate the South Africa government who is said to provide free medications to include insulin and glucose strips.

The international diabetes federation life for a child has been commended for their active support in resource poor settings where insulin, glucometers and teststrips are provided for free.

We also call on governments to ensure these supplies gets to the children import tax free.

Wouldn’t it be great to see life saving medications donated for free exempted from import tax which could be enormous?

We wish to thank all our participants for their contributions and commitments to ensuring an healthy life with diabetes is achievable by our children.

Do you have or know any child living with diabetes?
Kindly get through to us on our platforms and we will be glad to connect.
thengdoc@gmail.com
Facebook: NGDOC
Twitter: @thengdoc

NGdoc partners with Sola Giwa Initiative on Community Health Screening in Lagos State

NGdoc will be partnering with Sola Giwa Initiative on a 4day public health screening.

This gesture according to Sola Giwa is part of his commitments at ensuring the deliverance of democracy.

The public health screening will strictly be on diabetes and high blood pressure issues which will afford participants to be aware of its symptoms, damages and preventions to avert any health havoc.

Importantly, this program aims to improve health awareness as well as overall wellbeing of the people in his constituency through a 4-day public enlightenment and screening in 4 different locations.

Its intended target audience daily is between 500 making it 2,000 ground total target audience.

The event has been scheduled to hold at the four different venues as follows:

Day1
23/03/2016
Anikantamo Multi-purpose Hall
10am – 3pm

Day2
24/03/2016
Campus mini stadium
10am – 3pm

Day3
25/03/2016
Lafiaji community centre
10am – 3pm

Day4
26/03/2016
Eleganza sport centre
10am – 3pm

Interested in volunteering? Please send an email to ibironke_odewale@yahoo.ca