Great news for those with diabetes! Nurses are being specifically trained to deal with the current rise in diabetes in South Africa… Here’s the whole story.
“Nurses are primary caregivers, and have the most frequent and direct contact with people at risk of or living with diabetes,” Deputy Minister of Health, Dr Joe Phaahla said. “As the incidence of diabetes increases in South Africa, it is important to capacitate them to deal with this epidemic in every way.”
Dr Joe Phaahla spoke at the four day workshop, training 200 nurses from around the country. Welcoming Dr Phaahla to the event, Dr Timmy Kedijang, General Manager of Novo Nordisk South Africa, emphasised that approximately ”46% of people living with diabetes in South Africa remain undiagnosed. Training nurses to better identify early symptoms is therefore essential. Just as important, nurses need to be able to assist those living with the condition to manage it effectively, as non-compliance with treatment protocols is often the reason that complications such as blindness, nerve damage and limb amputations develop.”
The series of training workshops has therefore been designed to assist nurses in the public sector to deal with every aspect of the rapidly rising incidence of diabetes in South Africa.
“Early detection dramatically increases quality of life and longevity,” said Dr Kedijang, “and nurses have a vital role to play in identifying people at risk and improving diagnosis rates.”
This workshop will ensure that the nurses are also capacitated to counsel patients about managing their condition, the importance of exercise and following a healthy lifestyle. Such training can help people living with diabetes to enjoy better treatment outcomes and a healthy, active life.
“Our aim as the Department of Health is to promote health and prevent disease,” said Dr Phaahla. “We are therefore pleased to be able to partner with Novo Nordisk to ensure that nurses benefit from high-level training in this way.”
A total of 450 public sector nurses from around the country will benefit over the next three years from this partnership. “We are committed to supporting government plans that are aimed at improving access to care, particularly for those in the rural areas, which explains our enthusiasm in getting this training underway” said Dr Kedijang.
“Initiatives like these help us to get the message about diabetes out to the public. Greater awareness of the condition and advanced training for nurses will help us to facilitate both early diagnosis and effective treatment protocols for those living with diabetes,” concluded Dr Phaahla.