My name is Widny Dorce. I am a 23 year old Haitian living with diabetes. I was diagnosed in 2006, when I was 16, and I had to be informed about diabetes. So, I went to Fhadimac (the Haitian Diabetes Association). After finishing with school, I am waiting to go to University. I am now working as an "Awareness Agent" for the case of diabetes in Haiti, and I am also working in a Mobile Clinic Program that provides Retinography exams for people living with diabetes. I am the President of the Haitians Type 1 diabetes Support Group, and Regional Chair-Elect of the NAC Region of YLD.
The greatest problem is lack of information about diabetes, what to do to avoid the effects and complications of untreated diabetes, and the weakness of the health system related to diabetes. Also, the access to medication is a problem.
The diabetes medications are really expensive in Haiti; people usually go to see Physicians when they can. Insulin is available, but most of the time, their income is not sufficient to allow them to pay for the medication they need.
Sometimes, people with type 1 diabetes who can't afford their insulin and supplies just turn to traditional medicines; they use tree bark, aloe, and bitter coffee for example.
I have been involved in screenings and education for about 10 000 people from 2010 to 2012 with Fhadimac, and I am also currently involved in a diabetes Camp with Fhadimac (April 2014).
I would like to help as many people as I can to learn about what diabetes really is, and how to help change the way people perceive it as many regions in Haiti do not have access to diabetes education. For my project, I am planning to organize Diabetes Education/Social Activities. I am also working with the Support Group and the full support of Fhadimac to reach the Haitian Parliament, so that we can advocate for diabetes.