Camps bring lasting benefits to children with diabetes

News Hour:

Little is known about how participating in a diabetes camp affects the health of children and teens with type 1 diabetes in sub-Saharan Africa. In response, a WDF project partner has assessed the changes in glycaemic control and insulin doses in a group of young people with type 1 diabetes in Cameroon before, during and after camp attendance.

The results were published in the journal BMC Endocrine Disorders earlier this year. Their key finding: Attending a diabetes camp is associated with a significant decrease in long-term blood sugar levels 12 months after the camp, without changes in insulin doses.
“We did this research in order to verify if camp activities that we have been carrying out since 2011 have a positive impact on glycaemic control of children,” explains Dr Mesmin Y Dehayem, an endocrinologist at Hôpital Central de Yaoundé in Cameroon.
Scientifically rigorous evaluations help to document and improve quality of care, generate best practice, and also provide evidence of the need to continue supporting such activities, Dr Mesmin says.
Dr Anders Dejgaard, Managing Director of the World Diabetes Foundation, agrees.
“This article is very good news, because countless data from Africa show that the average lifespan of a child with type 1 diabetes is only 1 year in many countries, and patients often have very high blood glucose levels,” he says. “It is therefore liberating to see data where the number of people with type 1 diabetes is growing, and where the average HbA1c is 7,9, and even lower after 6 months. This is on par with the best diabetes centres in Europe, and should contribute to significantly longer lives and fewer complications for these young people.”
Dr Dehayem and Dr Dejgaard note that it was likely a combination of camp attendance and access to quality diabetes care after the camps that have helped the young participants improve their metabolic health.
Dr Dehayem was responsible for the project WDF10-507, Changing Diabetes in Children, a project working to improve the diagnosis and the quality of management of children with type 1 diabetes in Cameroon. The WDF project focused on infrastructure, capacity building and training, and successfully completed in 2013; since then, it has continued under the framework of Novo Nordisk’s  CDIC programme.

Md. Rafiuzzaman Sifat, a CSE graduate turned into journalist, works at News Hour as a staff reporter. He has many years of experience in featured writing in different Bangladeshi newspapers. He is an active blogger, story writer and social network activist. He published a book named 'Se Amar Gopon' inEkushe boi mela Dhaka 2016. Sifat got a BSc. from Ahsanullah University of Science & Technology, Bangladesh. He also works as an Engineer at Bangla Trac Communications Ltd. As an avid traveler and a gourmet food aficionado, he is active in publishing restaurant reviews and cutting-edge articles about culinary culture.
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