Juliana Lugard has probably had diabetes for decades. At least one of her four pregnancies was difficult, and she began noticing problems with her eyesight years ago. Diabetes runs in the family: her brother died of complications from it.
Still, when she received a diabetes diagnosis several years ago, the news came a shock. She began using traditional herbal remedies to manage the disease. When they didn’t help, however, she took an unusual step: “I went back to the doctor and told him to help his way, with medicine,” she says.
The staff in this small clinic on the Suriname River gave Juliana tablets to manage her blood sugar, and advised her to limit the amount of sugar and rice she ate, monitor her blood sugar levels, and prevent and treat foot sores. She managed well, she says, learning to “live with it – live normally.”
Today, diabetes rates in rural Suriname are rising fast – the result of rapid changes in traditional diets and lifestyles. A WDF project is strengthening diabetes care throughout the region to help meet the growing need.
“It’s a good thing that you bring your knowledge here, to the village,” Juliana says. “Because of God and doctors I’m still alive today. Now, I’m telling everybody to use the doctor’s medicine, because it is good.”
Diabetes care in southern Suriname is being strengthened by Combatting diabetes in rural Suriname, WDF16-1382