Clear emphasis for Feb 2020 meeting with NDoH.
Structure the meeting with NDoH differently. We have a shopping list of what we’d like to achieve – let’s rank them before the meeting, so we can better prioritize 2020 activities. Then during the meeting, we can quickly put together a process map and action plan with input from NDoH. For example, the Alliance needs to decide when we need to start work on specific projects, what are the key deliverables by projects, etc. Proposal is for Trevor McCoy to facilitate this session.
Goals for 2020, with updated feedback from the Board
Diabetes educational materials developed in alignment with NDOH.
CDE has developed materials that we can work from. It’s important to assess the level of health education and the language used in the educational materials. To this end, Sweet Life has made contact with Dr Marianne Reid at the University of the Free State who has developed a health dialogue model for patients with Type 2 diabetes in public clinics.
Training needs to be included as well as education: there’s no use educating patients if the nurses, doctors and healthcare professionals they interact with don’t have the same level of diabetes education. Healthcare professionals need to be able to support diabetes education. Training includes the core concepts of diabetes and could include the CDE online course.
Meter and strips available in public clinics to all people with diabetes.
It was suggested that this be removed from the 2020 goals. This is a procurement and management issue, which falls outside the scope of the Diabetes Alliance, and may present a conflict of interest with some of the companies supplying strips to government via contract or tender process. Once people with diabetes are educated, they can motivate and advocate for strips to be available.
Educational materials need to come first: without education, testing and strips aren’t very useful. Starting a diabetes registry is key so we know who we need to educate.
Start a Diabetes Registry in public clinics.
We need to find out from NDoH what this entails and the steps we need to take to start it. Perhaps it could be app based so that all those with a cell phone (even a very basic one using USSD) can use it: make it patient-centered.
Start planning earlier for World Diabetes Day
With the NDoH: involve parliament at the higher level and the linkage to care project started this year. We can get a timeline for when work on this needs to start.
Advocacy and Activism
It’s not only up to the Diabetes Alliance, we also need to hold patient organisations accountable for advocacy and activism. Diabetes patient associations need to motivate with advocacy and activism. Are there lessons to be learned from other patient association groups like TAC etc. Consider reaching out to activists like Zackie Achmat to get insights on how to strengthen patient voice and messaging.
We should emulate this:
Recruitment and empowerment came through a strong treatment literacy programme rooted in spreading the word from neighbour to neighbour, patient to patient. This patient-driven, community activism would become a hallmark of the movement.