When I recently attended the 7th Global Patient Congress of the International Alliance of Patients’ Organizations (IAPO) in London, I was very lucky to meet with Rose Lule Nalukwago, Executive Director of the Uganda Platform for Diabetics (UPLAD).
Due to poverty and lack of diabetes education, many diabetic patients in Uganda can’t manage or control their diabetes, and they end up losing their lives to the condition. UPLAD supports and advocates for the rights of people living with diabetes in Uganda and helps them to put their voices together so that they can be heard by the government to provide minimal resources for diabetic patients. The only tool that can help diabetic patients to overcome the entire stigma and liberate and empower them is diabetes education for diabetics, their carers and the public.
Diabetic camps in various areas of the country are an effective way to do this. People attending get free blood sugar tests, diabetes education and one-to-one counselling. This also includes testimonies from known diabetics.
Rose enrolled on EPAP to see whether she might use the programme with her diabetic patients. So far she has found EPAP very useful, and she feels that some of the modules, which are less Europe-specific, are an excellent resource for her patients to use.
We are hopeful that EPAP modules might find their way into the diabetic camps in Uganda and that we may be able collaborate long term.