Awareness and follow-up

Most people have never heard of Ketosis Prone Diabetes: Here is what you need to know

Clinicians once assumed that diabetic ketoacidosis (DKA) only occurred in Type 1 diabetes. So when middle-aged, high-body-weight people of African and Caribbean origin presented with DKA, they were diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes even though they didn’t fit the age or weight category: they were older and more overweight than expected. We now know that Ketosis-prone or Flatbush diabetes, an atypical form of diabetes, should have been the diagnosis. But what does it refer to exactly?

Cultural competence in diabetes management: why is it important?

Our culture influences our beliefs and world view, which influences our relationships. And nowhere are relationships more important than in the management of chronic diseases, where a network of people interact daily to improve the health of the person living with the disease. Successful diabetes care relies on a positive and trusting relationship between a patient and their care team. There is, however, no doubt that forming relationships with people different from us can be a challenge, especially when we don’t have a good understanding of their background. In an increasingly culturally diverse world, where everyone needs to access effective healthcare, how do we ensure that we interact respectfully? or knowledgeably? — with people whose norms may differ from ours? The answer: by being culturally competent.

In Kinshasa, during the pandemic, the message is clear: “get tested for diabetes”

Since September 2020, an exceptional campaign is underway in the Democratic Republic of Congo to screen the population of the capital city Kinshasa for diabetes and hypertension. The objective? To limit the impact of COVID-19 on the population. Without appropriate management, diabetes and hypertension can lead to serious complications, particularly for those affected by COVID-19. Supported by the World Health Organisation and UNICEF, and organised in coordination with the Ministry of Public Health, this campaign is taking place in 10 health centres and institutions across the city. Diabetes Africa met with the patients and professionals in Kinshasa to hear their experience and help enhance the message of this campaign: an early diagnosis of diabetes or hypertension followed with education and care can save lives.