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Diabetes in Sierra Leone

Makeni Trust Fund is a charity set up by parishioners at Mother of God Church, Sheffield to support a deaf school, a university and a hospital in the town of Makeni in the Northern province of Sierra Leone.

Funds have been collected to build wells, to help education and health projects and to support people in Sierra Leone during the Ebola crisis. Recently we have become aware of a developing problem in the country with the spread of diabetes.

The World Health Organisation suggest that diabetes in Sierra Leone – estimated at 65,000 sufferers in 2000 – will have almost trebled by 2030. Suffering from such diseases is much more of a problem in Africa because people don’t know about the disease, diagnosis is more difficult and, even when diagnosed, patients often can’t afford the medication.

Makeni Trust fund sWith the help of a British doctor, Veronica Sawicki, and her charity Help Madina, a diabetes clinic has been set up by Dr Patrick Turay at Holy Spirit Hospital in Makeni, which now has over 200 patients registered. Makeni Trust Fund has provided testing strips to help with diagnosis, and Help Madina is providing insulin for a number of patients who need it.

Our picture shows children who have to have daily blood glucose measurements because they are on insulin lifelong. Monitoring of their sugars is absolutely vital for them to regulate the dosage of insulin provided free of charge using Help Madina funds.

They have become friends united by the challenges that they and their families face living with diabetes in Sierra Leone.

If you want to know more about the work of Makeni Trust Fund, please visit the website at www.makenitrustfund.org.uk.