Building capacity for care and prevention in Malawi

A impromptu meeting of people with diabetes at the Queen Elizabeth Central Hospital in the country’s capital, Blantyre, generated the impetus to establish the Diabetes Association of Malawi. The author of this report was among those founding voices to call upon other people with diabetes to come together to form an organization that would advocate for the health rights of people with the disease. Although diabetes awareness and knowledge were generally low among people with diabetes, as well as the wider public, in Malawi, people with diabetes in the country are only too aware of the very serious shortfalls in the provision of care, and the often-difficult access to essential medications. With type 2 diabetes emerging as a major health concern in the country, the Diabetes Association of Malawi is working hard to warn the health authorities, political leaders and the general population of the grave threat to development, as well as health and wellbeing, posed by an epidemic of type 2 diabetes. Timothy Ntambalika reports from Malawi.