Botswana: Diabetes Educational Network Project

In July 2019, Véronique La Hausse (Program Consultant), and Kamla Pandoo (Head of Education and Prevention) travelled to Botswana following a request from the International Association ‘Humana People to People’ (HPP) in collaboration with the Ministry of Health of Botswana and APSA International Botswana. The invitation was to train paramedical staff from clinics located in the regions of Ramotswa and Gaborone for the launch of an educational network in 8 primary health care centres.

Using the booklet “Learning to Control Cardiovascular Risks”, the team conducted training sessions to equip HPP community agents along with nursing staff to run educational sessions for the diabetic population.

Educating patients empowers them to adopt a healthy lifestyle in order to avoid complications. It is not the first time APSA International has conducted such a project. In past, several other missions have been carried out in Botswana in collaboration with the World Diabetes Foundation.

World Diabetes Foundation Projects

In conjunction with the World Diabetes Foundation, and supported by the Ministry of Health and various other local NGO’s, APSA International has had the privilege of implementing diabetes management and care programmes in Burundi, Zimbabwe, and Botswana, between 2007 and 2017. The aim was to reinforce the National Diabetes Programme while strengthening the capacity of Health Care Providers in the field of diabetes care and management.

1. Zimbabwe project from 2014 – 2017

Project budget: USD 888.181
WDF contribution: USD 298.036,05

To improve diabetes care in Bulawayo, Zimbabwe, through establishing clinics, and through training health care personnel in diabetes management, in preventative foot care, and in educating patients.

APSA International (Association pour la Promotion de la Santé) was to work under the umbrella of the Health, Education, Food Security Organization (HEFO), which is a local non-government organization. Whilst being a joint partnership, APSA was to have the main role in implementing the project in the Bulawayo district of Zimbabwe, with the Bulawayo District Health Service as its primary collaborator.

Project outcome:

  • 6580 people screened for diabetes
  • 19 diabetes clinics established as referral clinics
  • 200 diabetes awareness posters placed in the 19 clinics
  • 124 HCPs trained in advanced diabetes management
  • 62 HCPs attended an advanced foot care training session
  • 641 diabetes patients received foot examination
  • 123 HCPs trained in diabetic wound management

Read more:

2. Botswana project from 2010 – 2013

Project budget: USD 961.500
WDF contribution: USD 510,000

In April 2010, APSA International Botswana signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Ministry of Health in Botswana to implement a 3-year project to improve diabetes care and management of diabetic foot complications in the country. The project was funded by the World Diabetes Foundation with a grant of USD 510,000.

To improve the prevention and management of diabetes with its complications through developing a community health educational network for people with diabetes, and by setting up foot care clinics.

To work in collaboration with the Ministry of Health in Botswana, and the local diabetes association, in the aim to establish an organised network of health professionals and community workers to support people with diabetes, and related cardiovascular diseases, as well as those at risk.

The project was to be implemented in 2 referral hospitals, 6 district hospitals, 1 heart clinic and 1 local organisation. The aim was to develop a holistic approach to diabetes management and prevention. Doctors, nurses, pharmacists, nutritionists, podiatrists and other health care professionals were to be equipped to identify high risk individuals and prevent devastating long-term complications.

Project outcome: 

  • 8 clinics strengthened and equipped with foot care kits
  • 123 nurses and 41 doctors trained in foot care out of which 18 nurses and 7 doctors participated in an advanced step-by-step foot care training course
  • 60 doctors, 188 nurses, 39 paramedics trained in diabetes management
  • Approximately 4,000 patients received treatment through the 8 clinics
  • 8,433-foot consultations conducted reaching approximately 4,000 diabetes patients
  • 3,140 patients trained in reducing cardiovascular risk.

Read more:

3. Burundi project from 2007 – 2010

Project budget: USD 291.777
WDF contribution: USD 255.698

To implement and coordinate training and educational activities targeting people diagnosed with diabetes or at risk of developing it.

A multi-partner intervention project. To be implemented by APSA International in collaboration with Diabète au Logis, 2 diabetes organisations called ALUDIA and APREPRIDA, and a private clinic CELUCODIA.

  • Diabetes care capacity to be strengthened in 23 health centres, which prior to the project did not offer diabetes care. A database to be established initially to enable registration of patients, professionals, structures and partner centres to develop a better knowledge of the prevalence of diabetes in Burundi.
  • A total of 30 diabetes community educators to be trained to deliver health education and promotion sessions in the communities.
  • The health education session to be carried out initially in the urban area of Bujumbura. Trained educators to each lead weekly group sessions of around 6 people with or at risk of diabetes. Focus to be on the management of diabetes, cardiovascular risk, diet, and physical activity with an emphasis on the social and cultural contexts of the target groups.
  • Participants to be identified through a detection and screening programme. 3,000 people expected to be screened each year out of which 1,000 to participate in the health education sessions.
  • 60 doctors and 60 nurses from government health care facilities and NGOs to undertake a 3-day training course on providing basic diabetes care. Training includes diabetes awareness, early symptoms, short-term and long-term complications, and treatment.
  • On completion of the training, the doctors and nurses are to function as a referral contact at their respective health care facilities and are equipped to conduct screening for diabetes.

Project outcome

  • 71 doctors and 66 nurses trained in diabetes detection and basic care
  • 30 diabetes educators trained to deliver health education to target groups
  • 3,100 people with diabetes or at risk of diabetes included in the education programme (modules 1, 2 and 3)
  • Approximately 2,584 people screened for diabetes

Read more: