The New Times (Kigali)

22 November 2012

Rwanda: U.S. Cycling Team Injects Rwf200 Million in Diabetes Treatment

US-based cyclists who are in Rwanda to raise awareness on diabetes have announced a donation of supplies worth US$300,000 to diabetic patients in the country.

Team Type 1-Sanofi as they call themselves, are touring Rwanda for the third time, with cyclists who believe in the cause of raising diabetes awareness while racing the 876km.

The Team is also participating in the current Tour of Rwanda cycling competition.

The cyclists will be giving out blood glucose meters to ensure the children living with diabetes are encouraged to exercise as it's said to be one of the best tools for controlling diabetes.

This will be of benefit to the increasing number of diabetic children which has shot up from 420 to 770, all being helped by the Rwanda Diabetes Association.

A blood glucose meter is a small, portable machine that is used to measure how much glucose (a type of sugar) is in the blood (also known as the blood glucose level).

People with diabetes often use the meter to help them manage their condition.

Keegan Hall, who is a member of this team, noted that lack of medication and education is a major challenge for people living with Diabetes in Rwanda.

"The sad part is, even though they are alive, due to the lack of consistent access to tools and technologies many of the children are suffering from diabetes related complications at a much earlier age," Hall said.

"But this is a great opportunity as we as Team Type 1 will be meeting with representatives from the Rwandan Ministry of Health we hope to give children with diabetes a chance of quality life that they truly deserve".

He said that the number is defiantly increasing and for type 1's that number has increased by over 85 percent in the last two years compared to a 2-3 percent increase in the United States.

Last year alone, Rwandan Diabetes Association and the Ministry of Health diagnosed over 200 people with diabetes during a screening exercise by the Team Type 1during the Tour of Rwanda.

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