South Africa Programs Represented at World Diabetes Congress
From the World Diabetes Congress, HOPE's South Africa Country Director, Stefan Lawson, meets with other African diabetes associations.
Greetings from Dubai! I’m attending the World Diabetes Congress which is hosted by the International Diabetes Federation (IDF) every two years bringing together experts in diabetes and other non communicable diseases from across the globe for a week of interesting lectures and workshops. Topics vary from the latest medical research to the development of an artificial pancreas to providing health education on diabetes in rural settings.
I have spent most of my time getting to know the various African diabetes associations, picking up contact details and learning about the challenges that they face as we look forward into 2012 and the expansion of our diabetes work across the continent. I have met people from Tanzania, Rwanda, Uganda, Zimbabwe, Zambia and Kenya all saying that diabetes is a growing problem in their respective countries, and all looking for help to address the various challenges that they are facing. Its a very exciting time to be working in this health area, and particularly on the continent of Africa which according to the IDF will experience the highest growth rate in diabetes prevalence (90% growth) over the next 20 years and yet at the same time very challenging considering it has the least amount of money available to spend on addressing the problem currently.
Project HOPE has a booth in the exhibition hall and in talking with the various people that have stopped by it is clear that organizationally we are positioned really well in terms of the need that is out there in the various countries. From both health professional education like we currently do in India as well as looking into innovative ways of getting health messaging and diagnosis and management services across to patients in resource poor settings where health professionals simply aren’t around such as in rural and urban poor areas of South Africa Project HOPE is working hard to find solutions and bring a better quality of life to those that are currently under served.