Diabetes in Africa

Been in Rwanda 15 days, and about six more weeks - they won’t stop feeding me! Potatoes, yams, plantains, rice, bread… at least I know what I don’t eat, the family eats later, so they have a better diet than when I’m not here. It’s all delicious, so I always have small tastes of everything. A favorite is dodo - spinach-like greens. Also eggplant in peanut sauce. Amazing fruit, too! Love the mangoes, pineapple, bananas, passion fruit, papaya…

The kids love to steal my glucose monitor - so I have to go hunting for it. I brought lots of batteries!

When people here see I am diabetic, they always look very sad and say they are so sorry. Because here, diabetes is a death sentence. We are so lucky to have the medical care that we do, where we can have perfectly healthy lives.

makes one realize sometimes how truly blessed we can be compared to some…

I am from the UK and currently in the US. There are many ways we are blessed in the UK - free diabetic supplies and free prescriptions for everything, not just for diabetes. We get free footcare (though that is few and far between), dentistry … but I have been looking at the stuff you can get in the US - different living aids, strips, lancets etc and it is a lot cheaper than you would pay, if you were to buy your own supplies - say, you are limited to 200 strips a month, less in some places and you wanted extra supplies to carry or like me, put in separate places - I have some at the church, at my mother’s house, always a spare of everything in my back pack or handbag … you have to pay through the nose for it! Like, a tub of 25 testing strips is £37 (multiply that by approximately $1.50 and you will get the US price.

I also like the little key chain pill boxes which I have bought several of since I have been here, and I do not put a pill in there, but one needle. A spare one in case I need one. I have yet to find a glucose Key Chain or several other ID ideas such as a USB wristlet. I know they exist here but have not yet been to a big enough Walgreens. Any ideas in San Francisco?

Over the past 18 years, I’ve read messages from people who actually believe people did not die from diabetes before the advent of insulin, that somehow it’s the treatment of diabetes that kills people. If only they could go to a place like Rawanda to see what happens when diabetes is not treated. Thank you for sharing!!

I found out this weekend that 80% of Diabetics in South Africa don’t even know they have Diabetes! I’m testing everyone at my work in the hopes that I can at least create some kind of awareness.

As a side project, we are helping the community start a health clinic - we have a Rwandan doctor here who is volunteering. He wants a glucometer and strips - I am so going to enjoy donating those! I’m not connected with this org, but just looked them up on line and they look like they’re doing good work…

HOPE worldwide

Just happened to see this post today. Don’t know what you’re in Rwanda for, but I hope you’re having a good time. I spent 3 months in West Africa (Ghana/Burkina Faso) in college, and I for sure understand the food thing! But everything was super good, especially anything with peanut sauce! And the fruit doesn’t get any better than that! Oh man, how I miss that pineapple! Mmmmm. Definitely came back feeling blessed to have diabetes in the U.S. though. Would love to hear more about your travels! Thanks for sharing!

Oh bless your in a blessed land I always love the fruits in Africa its the most pure and most fresh.
Enjoy it while you can and I know exactly what you mean about the sad look I just ignore it and say thank you God for blessing me with medication and great healthcare things could have been very different.