Monday, September 20, 2010

Millenium Development Goals, Any hope for people living with Diabetes?

The millenium development goals is a novel initiative by world leaders to adddress the problems affecting people world over especially in Africa. It is estimated that by 2015 many countries will meet up with set objectives. Taking a critical look at MDG goal 6, Diabetes and other NCDs are cleanly eliminated, how come this omission, it is that Diabetes and other NCDs are not a problem? It is sad to note that countries especially in Subsaharan Africa don't realize the potential danger that this pose, the concentrate mainly on malaria and Hiv because many foreign donors support these with funds and diabetes and other NCDs have no funding, hence they are not considered as a global challenge. I take solace and consolation in the words of UN sec General Mr Ban Ki Moon that NCDs are a public health emergency in slow motion. As over one hundred and forty leaders meet today to delebrate on the MDG goals, Let one of them have the courage to mention the efforts they are doing towards NCDs especially diabetes.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010


Diabetes Education and Prevention is the World Diabetes Day theme for the period 2009 to 2013.
The campaign calls on all those responsible for diabetes care to understand diabetes and take control.
For people with diabetes, this is a message about empowerment through education.
For Governments, it is a call to implement effective strategies and policies for the prevention and management of diabetes in order to safeguard the health of their citizens with and at risk of diabetes.
For healthcare providers, it is a call to improve knowledge so that evidence based recommendations are put into practice.
For the general public, it is a call to understand the serious impact of diabetes and know, where possible, how to avoid or delay diabetes and its complications.
Key messages of the campaign are:
- Know the diabetes risks and know the warning signs.
- Know how to respond to diabetes and who to turn to.
- Know how to manage diabetes and take control.

Monday, September 13, 2010

Insulin Pen Needles and Syringes are “Disposable Items” Our Experience in Subsaharan Africa.

The Insulin Needles for insulin pens is clearly written by manufacturers that it is Disposable. This means after a single use it should be discarded.
If one has a box of 100 pieces and he uses twice daily injection, that will be fifty days. Hygienically it is better, more healthier to comply with this directive but unfortunately economically speaking, this advice is not pocket friendly especially for patients living with diabetes on insulin in Subsaharan Africa.
Some people use the insulin pen needle up to ten times, some fifteen times or others who want to be moderate five times and for the affluent about twice daily. This is a challenge that is being ignored and the gross effect is increased incidence of ulcers especially on the thighs or around areas where insulin is administered.
Recently, I was had the opportunity to attend a seminar on insulin administration and injection devices. I saw electron microscope slides of insulin pen needles following use once, twice, thrice till the tenth times. It was amazing how rough and dangerous the needle looks following each use. The needle undergo gradual wear and tire as the usage times increases. This explains why the muscles are torn and bleeding is often noticed and also the frequent ulcers around the injection area.
Having noticed this anomaly, the weight of the awareness is how can you tell someone to do something he or she knows but doesn’t have the financial muscle to decide? When I came back from the workshop, I started telling people that the ideal number of times to use the disposable needle for the same person is once but if you don’t have the finance try twice. Many people listen to me may be because am a diabetes Educator but I do see some doubt and since of no commitment on some faces because the don’t have the finance to continually buy them. One piece of insulin pen needle on the average is sold at 50cent per one in some places it may be up to 80cents. I want to call on the manufacturers to try any way they can to reduce the cost of this accessories as a way of alleviating the burden of people living with diabetes especially in Subsaharan Africa.



Saturday, September 11, 2010

The Challenges of Self Glucose Monitor Among Persons Living with Diabetes in Sub Saharan Africa.

The revolution of glucose meter introduction into the World of Diabetes brought hope, relief and ease to many persons living with Diabetes. Before now, when one intends to do a blood glucose check, it may take several weeks to months. Subsequently with this innovation, within five seconds one can have a clear picture of blood glucose and more recently, non invasive glucose monitoring machines are being developed.
In many developing Countries of Subsaharan Africa like Nigeria, there is a chaos in the complexity of the challenge. Many persons living with diabetes are able to acquire glucose meters yet are not able to get the test strips to buy. The glucose meter may have gotten to them via relations who are living in America, UK, France among others or donations from Non Governmental organizations on medical outreach missions. Yet there are some companies with established glucometer brands but their cost are exorbitant for an average person to buy. In the mist of these confusion there are new companies coming with new model of meters for people living with diabetes to buy. The question on the mind of many people is this, what happens if these companies stop to supply this meters how can they buy test strips in future? Any company who intend to come into the glucometer business should give assurance of continous supply of test strips and other accessories to ensure confidence in persons living with diabetes who intends to buy their meter.