For the past several years, Carole Aarons-Lebrun, has dedicated herself tirelessly to inform, educate, and provide assistance to poor people affected with diabetes in the city of Saint Marc, Haiti.
In memory of her husband Pierre-Richard Lebrun, who died of complications of diabetes, Carole decided to create, with the help of a few friends and family members, the Centre Info-Diabète CIDIA-PRL to provide information about the disease, particularly to the underprivileged. After having cared for her husband for ten years, she understands the enormous financial and psychological burden of the disease and knew that a dedicated diabetes center would be of great service to the people of Saint Marc.
The Center is a non-profit organisation that provides classes on diabetes, conducts screening days, and helps people with diabetes to manage their condition. CIDIA-PRL has become a reference in the Artibonite region and Carole struggles daily to find the funds for its day-to-day operation.
Carole has also produced various awareness leaflets on diabetes in Creole because the little information that was available was in French and most of the population she serves only speaks Creole. The first booklet ever written in Creole is now available in some clinics in Port-au-Prince and the Bas-Artibonite.
Twice a week at CIDIA-PRL, Carole holds group sessions where family members and people with diabetes can meet to learn about personal hygiene, how to adapt their diet to their financial means and share information and advice.
I met Carole in November 2011 during my visit to Saint- Marc during the week of November 14 - World Diabetes Day. She had organized a parade with cyclists that included a person with diabetes who had represented Haiti abroad and won several trophies. CIDIA-PRL organised 4 days of free screening for the occasion.
Carole works hard to get physicians in the area to address the problem of diabetes and thanks to her efforts there is more diabetes awareness in the region. With the devastation that diabetes is doing around the world, I would like to thank Carole for her dedication to this cause and for making information more accessible. Diabetes is very high in the Artibonite region where the population remains one of the poorest and I think her initiative is to be encouraged!