Meet Sheila Sheila Chipenge is 14 years old, living with type 1 diabetes in rural Malawi. When Sheila first began to experience symptoms, she struggled to find an accurate diagnosis. She was finally diagnosed by Partners In Health’s sister organization in Malawi, Abwenzi Pa Za Umoyo (APZU) in June 2014 and has been managing her […]
Meet Tigist Tigist Gebeyas is 20 years old and lives in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia with her brother Lidetu and her parents. She began having seizures when she was nine years old, but it was unclear to her family and doctors what was causing them. Following a severe burn accident, additional tests diagnosed Lidetu with epilepsy. […]
Meet Estifanos Estifanos Balcha, now 20 years old, was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes when he was a young child living in Addis Ababa. For many years, Estifanos did not have consistent access to insulin and he severely struggled with managing his condition, doing so without family support and homeless for much of his childhood. […]
With leadership from clinicians in Haiti and Rwanda, PIH is working to change the unjust realities that our diabetes patients face. This work was highlighted at the 2015 World Diabetes Congress in Vancouver, with several Haitian diabetes experts in attendance to present and share their experiences.
This commentary, published in The Lancet Diabetes & Endocrinology, outlines the imperative to extend global research, access to medicines, and care delivery efforts to better address the diabetes burden of the world’s poorest patients. The article also announces two current initiatives supported by Helmsley Charitable Trust, including PIH’s efforts to improve integrated diabetes care in Haiti and Rwanda.
This article uses Type 1 diabetes in sub-Saharan Africa as a case study to encourage the international community to broaden the concept of access to medicines to access to treatment, through more comprehensive health systems goals around supply chain infrastructure, diagnostics, and training of health care workers.