Diabetes in young people is a heavy burden all over the world but it is particularly severe in developing countries. Although the condition is the same, the context can be very different. Young people with diabetes in the Democratic Republic of Congo have to face a number of major challenges. They are perceived as having a ‘mysterious disease’ which requires a lot of attention on a daily basis throughout a lifetime. Belief in spells is quite common in Africa, and many families feel it is their responsibility to find the person responsible for causing the diabetes. In many cases this leads to conflicts and can lead to children being rejected and abandoned – considered by their community as ‘bewitched’. Marguerite De Clerck and Rosanna Bucci describe the situation for young people with diabetes facing great adversity, and report from a promising healthcare centre in eastern DR Congo.
Democratic Republic of Congo, Uvira