By The Inspirer writer.
Rwanda’s Ministry of Health yesterday received a donation of glucose meters and close to 12 million test strips in a bid to support patients diagnosed with type 1 diabetes to be used for the next four years.
The donation was given by Abbot, a global healthcare provider through Team Type 1 Foundation.
It was proven that Glucose meters and test strips can help patients to manage their diabetes, however, some patients with this kind of diabetes are not able to afford such tools.
While receiving the donation on January 16, 2020, Dr. Patrick Ndimubanzi, the Minister of State in charge of primary health care in Rwanda said that the government of Rwanda is pleased to welcome this kind of partnership, noting that it is a lifesaving initiative and will help to improve the quality of life.
“Diabetes is a global concern, not only in Rwanda, and the problem is that most of the people don’t know that they are sick, and some of the people don’t want to know that they are sick because they think that there are no solutions.” Ndimubanzi noted.
“One of the things that we are trying to do is to prevent, but we want also people to get diagnosed early, to get tested, to know their status, to do a regular checkup. By doing this, if you are sick, you start a treatment early.” He added.
Dubbed ‘FreeStyle Optium Neo’ the glucose meters and 11.7 million FreeStyle Optium test strips from Abbott will provide access to ongoing Diabetes care in Rwanda.
Bernard Brisolier, Business Unit Director for Abbott’s Diabetes care business in Africa said: “We are thrilled to bring a solution here, technology combined with strong leadership with clear vision and commitment becomes a solution for the Rwandan diabetes community.”
This donation is in partnership with Team Type 1 Foundation, which is a non-profit organization pursuing a global mission of education, empowerment and equal access to medicine for everyone affected by diabetes.
Phil Southerland, Team Type 1 Founder and President who advocated for the donation said: “This dream of mine becomes true to receive this donation from Abbott. We have seen the will of the people to succeed against the challenges diabetes presents, which is why Team Type 1 has been so dedicated for the past 10 years to advance access to diabetes care in Rwanda.”
In Rwanda the prevalence of diabetes is at 3% and an estimated 2000 children and young adults live with type 1 diabetes.
Rwanda has put different measures to fight diabetes, including: community check-up and sensitization for early detection, decentralization and integration of diabetes care to health center level, health system strengthening through capacity building and development of normative tools, increase of accessibility and affordability of diabetes commodities, medicine and lab tests, inclusion of diabetes care into medical insurance scheme among others.
Abbott which is an active healthcare provider in Africa in general and in Rwanda in particular, has also since the beginning of 2019 collaborated with the ministry of health on a pilot program including the launch of eight second-generation health posts in Bugesera District.