In 2016, the Armenian EyeCare Project approached WDF with an ambitious plan for improving diabetes retinopathy (DR) screening and care across their mountainous, landlocked country in the South Caucasus.
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 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 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.
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.
Kyrgyzstan has made strides in treating type 1 diabetes in recent years. To name a few: the condition is now on a list of priority NCDs of the Kyrgyz Republic. The national health system covers all types of insulin for children and youth up to 29 years old, and a new mobile app for type 1 management has been developed and piloted.
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.
According to the WHO, older people and people with pre-existing conditions such as heart diseases, diabetes and respiratory conditions appear to be more susceptible to becoming severely ill with the COVID-19 virus.
BAGSVÆRD, DENMARK 20 April 2020 -
The global COVID-19 outbreak has shown that patients with NCDs such diabetes, hypertension and heart disease have a much higher risk of severe and even fatal illness from the virus.
NCD patients in Jordan already face challenges in accessing health services due to the Syrian refugee influx and persistent humanitarian crisis, and the COVID-19 spread is expected to increase the pressure on the already overburdened health care system in Jordan.
BAGSVÆRD, DENMARK 20 April 2020 -
The COVID-19 virus outbreak has affected countries worldwide, but scenarios across sub-Saharan Africa are still uncertain although cases are confirmed and on the rise in many parts of the region. From the global data observed so far it is known that people living with diabetes, hypertension and other NCDs (non-communicable diseases) are at high risk of severe and even fatal illness from a COVID-19 infection.