Living well with diabetes


Rose at her stall in the marketplace where she sells mangoes (Photo: Corrie Wingate/Amref Health Africa)

 

One year ago, Rose could hardly leave her house. She had been feeling unwell for a long time and she knew it was because she was diabetic. She had seen her family members struggle with the condition and she expected the same ever since she was diagnosed with it: “To be honest, I never believed that one could live a healthy life after being diagnosed with diabetes,” she tells us.

 

Rose's children did not go to school because she could not afford to pay their school fees. “It was sad seeing them stay at home when others were in school, but I just couldn’t work!” Rose remembers.

 

Her neighbor, Samuel, would check in on her every day. “I remember going to see her and convincing her to be strong. She was very sick and tired,” explains Samuel. This all changed when Samuel was trained as a Community Health Worker by Amref Health Africa: “I had just been informed that the training would be on Diabetes and Childhood Asthma, but I did not have any more information,” states Samuel. He was intrigued when he realised that part of the training would be done through mLearning. “I am not tech-savvy, so I thought it would be very challenging. But once we started, it was very easy and I was able to complete all topics,” he asserts.

 

After completing his training, Samuel went back to visit Rose. He was able to convince her to go to hospital with him, where she went through several tests to determine her general health. At the facility, Rose received the health services she needed and was given advice on how to maintain her diabetes so that she no longer felt sick all the time.

 

Even after Rose left the hospital and felt better, Samuel continued checking in on her to make sure she adhered to the health advice she was given. “Change could be seen from day one. She was happier, and she could move around unlike before. Before long, she was walking outside and even started looking for jobs to do!” adds Samuel. 

 

Now, Rose has a stall in the market place where she sells mangoes. She has made many new friends and is happy. “I am healthy, I rarely get sick, and I can provide for my family. My children have gone back to school!” she concludes.

 

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