Dr Graham Ogle, LFAC General Manager, recently travelled to Arusha, Tanzania, to participate in the inaugural African Diabetes Congress. Organised by the IDF Africa Region, the event brought together key stakeholders and leaders in the arena of diabetes and other non-communicable diseases, to discuss ambitions, priorities and actions for change within the Africa region.
Prior to this important event was the first African Diabetes Youth Leadership Programme, organized by Dr. Michael Skjodt Sorensen (an IDF Youth Leader and recent medical school graduate from Denmark), Dr. Kaushik Ramaiya, Dorothy McLarty, and Dr. Edna Majaliwa. Forty-three youths aged 12-24 from several different African nations attended this four day intensive, as well as participating in the opening ceremony of the African Diabetes Congress - officially opened by Dr. Mohamed Gharib Bilal, Vice President of the United Republic of Tanzania, and Dr. Seif Rashid, Deputy Minister of Health and Social Welfare. Mohammed Humud, 18, was one of three youth leaders, all supported by LFAC, who gave very moving speeches on their personal experience of living with diabetes. He has generously shared the following words:
My name is Mohammed, I’m 18 years old and I live in Zanzibar (Tanzania). I have had diabetes since 1996 when I was 2 years old. I didn't know anything about diabetes because I was young and I didn't what was going on. So I grew up with diabetes - since I was two I’ve used insulin and I know if I lose insulin I lose my life.
I was the first child known to have diabetes in Zanzibar and made history at Mnazi Mmoja Hospital. I thank God for the person who gave me insulin and saved my life - Dr Kaushik Ramaiya. Thanks to him I am strong and healthy and can live like everyone else.