gwen's blog

Donation strengthens diabetes projects in Peru and Nepal

The World Diabetes Foundation has received a USD 51,000 donation from Birgitte and Viggo Birch to improve diabetes detection and care in Peru and Nepal.

The donation will be used to extend and strengthen two successful WDF projects. In Peru, it will be used to establish up to 10 new Basic Units for Diabetes Care in poor areas of Lima and Arequipa. The focus will be on preventing diabetic foot as well as on treating complications related to diabetic foot.

Regional effort to improve diabetes care for indigenous peoples begins

In July 2019, a group of local women gathered in a shaded, dusty clearing in Tarabuco, Bolivia to learn about plants. Special plants: Bromeliad guzmania, aloe vera, pomegranate, lemon, orange – two with powers to heal, and three that both heal and feed. After two traditional doctors explained the plants’ benefits and care, the women lined up to receive seedlings of their own, wrapping them carefully in alpaca blankets for safe passage to their homes and gardens.

‘Is that Omondi, who used to be sick?’

As a kid, Eric had a reputation as ‘the bright one’ in Sirembe, a village in Southwestern Kenya. He was the third-born of seven siblings: curious, earnest and good in school.

But in sixth grade he started feeling ill. The symptoms resembled malaria, so his mother bought antimalarial drugs in the village market. The symptoms continued, but going to the hospital just wasn’t an option – it was far away, and getting there and paying for treatment was too expensive.

WDF funds 15 new projects in the first half of 2020

WDF funded a total of 15 new projects in Africa, the Middle East and Asia in the first half of 2020. 

Three new projects in West Africa and Comoros are part of a new WDF collaboration with the French Development Agency that will consolidate national responses to diabetes care and prevention. Two more, in Jordan and Tanzania, address the COVID-19 pandemic in humanitarian and low-income settings.

The remaining projects offer innovative approaches to diabetes prevention, integrated care, and care of diabetes complications in selected settings around the world.  

Footwear For Every Diabetic protects feet across Pakistan

The Baqai Institute of Diabetology and Endocrinology (BIDE) is first and only multidisciplinary tertiary care diabetes Institute in Karachi, Pakistan. One of the learnings they have documented, presented at meetings and prepared for publication in the scientific journals is this: Therapeutic footwear is the most cost-effective way to manage diabetic foot ulcers and prevent ulcers in at-risk feet.

In Kenya, success drives a desire to ‘share the excellence’

Christine Mwelu James sat at the intake centre of the Machakos Diabetes Clinic, a cosy woollen jacket and patterned kanga insulating her against the damp winter day.

The medical staff clustered around her, however, were all focused on her bare right foot. They lifted and turned it to reveal a thumbnail sized ulcer, red and painful looking, surrounded by a circle of discoloured flesh. 

‘We are developing tools we can build on’

It’s late afternoon, and Dr Kaushik Ramaiya, Consultant Physician and CEO at Shree Hindu Mandal Hospital, is completing his rounds in the intensive care unit. There are six patients on respirators; one, he notes approvingly, will soon be able to breathe on his own. But there are other concerns: the need for more testing and protective equipment, a hotline to answer patients’ questions, a mobile unit to bring care to their homes.