T1International recently had the opportunity to visit Kenya, supporting an NCD Child advocacy workshop there. While in Eldoret, we visited the diabetes clinic and then headed to Nairobi to spend some time with our type 1 Global Advocate,Mbolonzi. Mbolonzi runs a non-profit called Diabetes Awareness Prevention and Management Kenya (DAPMK) and we were lucky to join their meet up for people with diabetes.
The meet up was an opportunity for all people living with or touched by diabetes to come together, share their story, learn about the best ways to manage their blood sugars with limited access to supplies, and talk about solutions to issues that many face, like the high cost of blood glucose test strips. DAPMK and T1International carried out blood sugar testing because many people with diabetes in Kenya cannot afford to regularly test their blood sugars.
It seems that everyone enjoyed the support and comradery of the meeting. Below you can read for yourself what some of the members attending the meeting said about it.
”I was invited to the Diabetes Awareness, Prevention and Management Kenya (DAPMK) meeting at corner house in Nairobi. Being 22 years old and having been diagnosed with type 1 diabetes 10 months earlier, I had little information on how to manage it. I arrived at the meeting to the welcome of the chairman and founder of DAPMK. The room was full with over 50 occupants who mainly where either affected by or themselves had diabetes. Each of them shared their experiences on how they got diagnosed or their family member was diagnosed. It was an emotional event for me but seeing people having the same condition as I do made me feel united with them and it brought us closer. I gained a lot more information from the two professional doctors and nutritionists. Thumbs up to DAPMK and the supporting partners, T1International, for this event. Together let’s fight diabetes and fight for insulin for all!” – Joy
”The meet up was really good. I met new diabetics and made friends – I felt good meeting people with the same condition as me. I also got to hear of other diabetics experiences with diabetes and I met diabetics who have lived with diabetes for more than 22 yrs. That of course encouraged me. I learnt that I can live with diabetes for many years as long as I have access to my insulin and eat the right food!” – Susan
Thanks again to Mbolonzi and DAPMK for putting on the meeting and allowing us to join in. Connecting to support each other and work together for solutions is the first step in lasting change, and we were glad to be a part of it! We look forward to continuing to work with DAPMK in Kenya to address the issues around lack of affordability when it comes to diabetes supplies.