Sunday, March 18, 2012

#102 Sweet as Sugar

Just a quick note to offer you an opportunity. We have a lot of diabetics. Our only medications are metformin (Glucophage) and glyburide (like glipizide). When I can’t keep their blood sugar under 200 on max doses of these medications (without any renal function tests to monitor them in a place where everybody is chronically dehydrated), I put them on insulin. In a place that’s regularly over 100 degrees and where nobody has a refrigerator (or electricity) at home, you can imagine what a challenge this presents. Patients will try to find a shaded spot, dig a hole, bury a cooler with insulin and keep the soil over it wet. This is as close as they can get to keeping their insulin cold. And who knows how well things stay cold on their way here. For a while, they’ll get insulin that doesn’t seem to do anything, then on their next vial, they’ll go hypoglycemic.

We have been getting by on insulin that volunteers have brought with them. It’s usually half-used vials of expired insulin that has probably not stayed cold during the trip. Recently, however, we’ve found that we can occasionally get insulin in Moundou and N’Djamena. And it’s actually cheaper than buying insulin in America (although you can’t beat free donations!). But it’s still over $20/vial, which is outside of our patients’ budgets, in an area where 65% of the population lives on less than $1/day.

So there’s anybody with a passion for the up-and-coming disease of third-world diabetes... Here we are!!!

You will notice on our blog,, that we have a link for donations. This is through Adventist Health International’s website. We believe strongly in the mission of AHI. We feel that AHI is an organization worth supporting. By donating through AHI, you can be reassured that there is a strong measure of accountability following your donation. Just mark the donation for ‘Bere.’ And remember that your gift is 100% tax-deductible.
Olen Zain: +235 62 16 04 93
Danae Zain: +235 62 17 04 80
Olen et Danae Netteburg
Hopital Adventiste de Bere
52 Boite Postale
Kelo, Tchad
Volunteers Welcome!!!

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