16. Dec 2015

Children’s diabetes clinic opens in Mali

Gwendolyn Carleton
Nearly 300 young people in Bamako now have a clinic of their own, thanks to generous donations from around the world.
Young people living with type 1 diabetes were among those celebrating the clinic opening on 14 November.
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On 14 November 2015, a new clinic for children and adolescents with type 1 diabetes opened at the Hospital of Mali, in Bamako. Placed in a renovated, separate wing of the hospital, the new clinic will bring more space, services and better care to local children with the disease.
The opening, which took place on World Diabetes Day, was celebrated with a day of information and awareness. The public was offered free diabetes screening and education about the disease, which affects about 5% of people in Mali.
The new clinic was the result of a partnership between the World Diabetes Foundation (WDF) and the NGO Santé Diabète. It was built and equipped thanks to the donations of Novo Nordisk management and employees, local donors and other contributors to a fundraiser organised by the WDF. 
A 40-foot container, which was donated by the Danish shipping company Maersk and is placed next to the clinic, will be used as a space for educational activities.  
Centre of excellence
The clinic builds on work that WDF and Santé Diabète have developed and sustained in Mali since 2004. At that time, the situation for people with diabetes in Mali was alarming. Type 2 diabetes was the leading cause of amputation and blindness in the country. 95% of children living with type 1 diabetes died less than one year after diagnosis.
Since then, a series of projects supported by the WDF and implemented by Santé Diabète improved the situation dramatically. As for the children, the number diagnosed with type 1 diabetes increased from 10 to nearly 300. They and others diagnosed in the future will benefit from the clinic, which will serve as a centre of excellence in Bamako. 
In addition to renovating the clinic, the WDF fundraiser will also:
• Adapt and create specific tools for type 1 diabetes education 
• Conduct camps for children and adolescents with type 1 diabetes and their parents 
• Create seminars for parents who have a child with type 1 diabetes 
• Raise awareness among teachers who educate children with type 1 diabetes
Santé Diabète hopes to extend diabetes care for children to the rest of the country in the coming years.
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