Rwanda to mark UN Diabetes Day with week long activities

The Rwanda Diabetic Association will celebrate this year’s World Diabetes Day, under the theme, “No children should be killed from diabetes” with several awareness raising activities, The New Times has learnt.

The Rwanda Diabetic Association will celebrate this year’s World Diabetes Day, under the theme, “No children should be killed from diabetes” with several awareness raising activities, The New Times has learnt.

Speaking to the press over the weekend Dr. Francisco Gishoma, the President of Rwanda Diabetic Association, said that the association has organised several events to mark the day which was officially designated by the United Nation (UN) last year on November 14.

“Rwanda postponed celebrating the day to November 21 and we have a week long observation. With the help of local government authorities, we are inviting all children suffering from diabetes to get free treatment (during the week). We have partnered with 16 major hospitals across the country to provide therapy. We are also treating diabetic children and very poor people free of charge on top of reducing the cost by 30 percent for those with ‘small’ means,” he explained.

The United Nations marked the first Diabetes Day on November 14, 2007 and declared it an international day to be celebrated by all member countries in an effort to fight a disease affecting about 246 million people worldwide.

Even though Gishoma could not immediately give the statistics on the extent of diabetes in the country, he said that disease is a serious threat to the health of many Rwandans.

“Our association in partnership with the Ministry of Health has started programmes running at public health centre level across the country to ensure that all children are tested for diabetes,” he said.

World Diabetes Day is the primary global awareness campaign of the diabetes world. It was introduced by the International Diabetic Federation and the World Health Organization in response to concerns over increasing numbers of people with diabetes around the world.

The date marks the birthday of Frederick Banting who, along with Charles Best, first conceived the idea which led to the discovery of insulin in 1921. With the passage of the United Nations’ World Diabetes Day Resolution in December 2006, November 14 has now become a United Nations-observed day.

The Rwanda Diabetic Association office is located at Kinamba near Nyabugogo.

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