Wednesday 13 April 2011
Joan Metcalf, of Advanced Care Products, which supplies specialist medical products, including Bayer’s meters and blood testing accessories, explains how the company is making a real difference with projects to help newborn babies in the Cameroon and Nigeria.
The picture shows a mother with her twins, and her nurse (who is called Patience).
During 2010 the ‘Making a Positive Difference’ scheme has continued to supply blood glucose testing strips to clinics and hospitals throughout Africa.
Four thousand test strips were sent to Cameroon where Dr Alison Earley works for the Maternal and Childhealth Advocacy International (MCAI) which is a UK based international charity, dedicated to saving the lives of pregnant women, babies and children in countries where health care is poor due to poverty or conflict.
The MPD scheme has been supplying blood testing strips to the hospital’s nursery through Dr Earley for several years. Before the MPD, there was no equipment to check blood glucose levels in the newborn babies who were admitted to the nursery. Newborns are very prone to hypoglycaemia, which can cause fits and lasting brain damage if undetected. Now that the nursery has a constant supply of strips and every baby admitted has his/her blood glucose checked immediately, if blood glucose is low, it can be quickly corrected.
Later this year, Andrew Page and a colleague who are fourth year medical students at Newcastle University, are going to a small rural hospital in Fiji for the elective part of their medical training and we are donating 12,500 strips for them to take to aid in diabetes screening at the hospital. We will report later in the year on their experiences.
Another project we are looking to support is being set up in Nigeria. The Nigerian healthcare system is ranked 187 out of 191 in the world with diabetes being the most common non-communicable disease. The project will set out to provide a free basic health check and screening for diabetes in the Imo State of the country. The exercise will need a great many test strips but we are hopeful that the MPD scheme will be able to provide them.
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