The Diabetes Association of Botswana and the Cancer Association of Botswana, through their collaborative effort with the Y-Care Charitable Trust, engaged in the 4th Y-Care Annual Chairman’s Challenge from August 6 to 11, 2018. The event involved a run of 390 km over six days by Mr Modise Koofhethile, Chairman of Y-Care Charitable Trust, and his team. Passing through 18 rural villages in Eastern Botswana, the run increased awareness about diabetes and cancer among communities. Kagiso led a team of Youth Leaders from the Diabetes Association of Botswana.
During six days and for a total of 480 km, five marathon runners gave their best to draw attention on NCDs. Everytime they passed through a village, Kagiso and his team undertook free diabetes screenings and held diabetes education talks to raise awareness of the condition in local communities. A total of 1148 people were screened, 25 of them presented symptoms of diabetes, and an additional 56 presented dangerously high blood pressure levels. All these people at risk were immediately redirected to the closest health facility.
The screenings and educational talks were free of charge for the participants and were open for everyone to attend. Their goal was to raise awareness of NCDs in isolated communitites of Eastern Botswana.
2019 welcomed an additional ambitious event: the Diamond Cycling Challenge. The project gathered ten cyclists riding in nine different villages covering a distance of about 1000 km in two weeks. Just as for the run, at every village were carried out diabetes screenings and held educational talks.
I work as a driver at my own travel and tour company. I volunteer at two different charity organisations, where I give presentations on diabetes to raise awareness about the disease. I also help my doctor counsel recently diagnosed youth who have difficulty accepting their disease and need help controlling it. I want to gain recognition as a member of this committee, help raise awareness, and reach out to the entire country with the government’s support. I want to see everyone living with diabetes know about it, stay well with it, and the community able to help a person presenting hypoglycemia signs without them struggling to figure out what’s wrong. I think having a WhatsApp group or Facebook blog where I could talk to people with diabetes and discuss the challenges we face as diabetics would be something I would love to do.