Gambia: Obavic Diabetes Foundation Launched

A new charity call, Obavic Diabetes Foundation (ODF) was last Saturday launched at the National Nutrition Agency (NaNA) conference hall in Kanifing, attended by senior government officials, including those from the health ministry.

The Foundation is established to support people living with diabetic condition by raising awareness of diabetes and its associated complications to those at risk, through informational, educational, events and care.

Representing the Minister of Health and Social Welfare, Deputy Permanent Secretary Karamba Keita said he is hopeful that the foundation will make greater impact in the fight against diabetes as it has committed volunteers who can give adequate information on diabetes.

"In our health services statistics today, non-communicable diseases are taking the highest turnover of diseases. Some twenty years back, Gambia, like most developing countries was struggling with communicable diseases and these are diseases that can transfer from person to person through different means, but today that is changing significantly."

Mr. Keita said this has already been manifested in the routing data collected from the various health facilities throughout the country, and diabetes is one of them. He said having such Foundation to complement government efforts is welcoming. "We will be ready to collaborate with you to help in any way for the advancement of the Foundation."

Rev. Dr Oladayo Akano, chief executive officer of the Foundation said with the growing global burden of Diabetes Mellitus (DM) and related non-communicable diseases in recent years, there is an urgent need for health decision-makers at all levels to implement adopted policies and plans of action to halt the escalating trend and burden of diabetes through effective primary care and advocacy in rural communities. "We intend to provide diabetes care at primary level, awareness about diabetes and related NCDs and strengthen the related health system."

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