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Diabetic Foundation appeals for assistance

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The Jiya-Vannie Diabetic Foundation (JDF), a local non- governmental organization (NGO) advocating for the fight against diabetes in the country, says its efforts are being hampered by limited financial resources.

The NGO has, therefore, appealed for assistance from well-wishers.

JDF Executive Director, Ruth Walker Jiyani, said although the NGO has been in existence for two years, it needs financial support to reach out to diabetic patients in the rural areas.

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She observed that in most rural areas people lack diabetes knowledge and there is need for awareness campaign.

“We want them to understand diabetes so that we can give them treatment and management options. Personally, I want to assist fellow diabetic patients,” said Jiyani, a diabetic patient for the past 20 years.

“I was diagnosed with diabetes in May 1995 and I faced the challenge of being blind after I was diagnosed with diabetic retinopathy.”

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“I, therefore, went to India several times for treatment and my vision was restored. I can now see. On my second visit to India I met other Malawians who were also suffering from diabetes and they suffered a similar problem. I, therefore, realised the need to start diabetes awareness campaign in Malawi,” Jiyani said.

She said she discussed the diabetes awareness campaign idea with several parties and eventually established an NGO.

“It (the NGO) is aimed at helping people with diabetes to reduce the risk of developing complications that usually affect them,” added Jiyani.

“We want to help patients by offering them treatments. This will be done after research, awareness campaigns, support groups, training and networking using different publications, radio and television programmes, as well as the internet,” said Jiyani.

She further said JDF has plans to partner other organisations such as the government and religious groupings to empower the nation with educational information and diabetes treatments.

“JDF will conduct awareness campaigns and seminars in order to raise funds to operate the educational aspect of the foundation. The funds will be used to purchase educational material as well as to conduct seminars and awareness campaigns across Malawi,” said Jiyani.

JDF, which was established in November 2012 by Jiyani, has trustees in Dr Stewart Chipendo, a general medical practitioner as its chairman, Mr. Lamion Gama, Managing Partner of KPMG, Gertrude Juma Mhango, a pharmacist, lawyers Chikondi Khondiwa and Margaret Munthali.

Mthunzi Don Whayo, a young entrepreneur, is also a trustee.

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