06. Jan 2017

2017 Fundraiser: Rwanda diabetes awareness and support

Gwendolyn Carleton
The World Diabetes Foundation’s 2017 fundraiser project will raise diabetes awareness and improve type 1 diabetes care in Rwanda by activating a powerful force – the country’s youth, including its girl scouts.
Rwanda's Girl Guides are key to WDF's 2017 fundraiser project. They will help raise diabetes awareness in their country, and teach leadership skills to youth with type 1 diabetes.
Two decades after ethnic tension between Rwanda’s Tutsis and Hutus culminated in genocide, the country is earning praise for its development successes. Its economy is growing, and on the healthcare front, deaths from HIV, TB, and malaria and maternal mortality have decreased dramatically. Yet challenges remain. 
Rwanda remains on the OECD’s list of least developed countries, and non-communicable diseases are a growing threat. An estimated 360,000 Rwandans have type 2 diabetes, yet only a fraction receive care. Awareness of diabetes, its causes and complications is limited. Funding and equipment for more than 1,400 young Rwandans with type 1 diabetes are in short supply.  
General diabetes awareness and type 1
The 2017 WDF Fundraiser will support Rwandan youth with type 1 diabetes, and improve awareness and prevention of type 2 diabetes across the country. Local partners are the Association des Guides du Rwanda (AGR) and The Rwanda Diabetes Association (RDA).
The project will work to improve prevention and awareness of type 2 diabetes in 14 districts. To achieve this, RDA and AGR will recruit and train a total of 42 youth volunteers from 14 district cities. Working in teams of three, they will then design and run local prevention and awareness campaigns targeting 70 schools nationwide. These campaigns will end with a competition in which the most successful campaign is identified. 
The project will also improve self-care and well-being of children and youth with type 1 diabetes. To achieve this goal, the project will equip the RDA mobile clinic to test 1400 young people with type 1 nationwide. The project will also fund two summer camps over two years reaching 100 young people each (200 in total). Girl guides trained by the project will contribute to the camps with lessons about leadership, confidence etc. 
The project deliverables include:
•Diabetes prevention peer educator training for 42 young people (including 14 Girl Guides) 
•Diabetes prevention and awareness campaigns at 70 selected schools and youth centres in 14 districts
•2 diabetes camps for children and youth with type 1 diabetes, reaching 200 young people in total
•Improved services (including training and Hba1c machines and reagents) for 1400 youth with type 1 diabetes
The project will be implemented over a 2-year period (2017-18).