Living with Diabetes in the Maldives – by Juzan Mohamed

10 years after my diabetes diagnosis, no matter how much I always wanted to keep hoping, believing, and praying, there were several times that I almost thought, “I’m not going to make it this time. I’m probably going to die on this hospital bed”.

Today, I’m a special educational needs teacher and a member of Diabetes Society of Maldives. I love both kids and cats very much!I would like to thank all the doctors who have treated me and helped me. I would like to thank my father, brother, and especially my mother, who had been the source of my strength. My heartfelt thanks also goes to the Diabetes Society of Maldives. Words cannot describe how thankful I am for that community.

Several people have mockingly told me that I must have gotten this disease because I must have eaten a lot of sugar. I believe it’s important that we put more effort into educating the public about diabetes, its risk factors, and any preventive measures. I wish they knew that there are many factors involved not only in a diagnosis, but in diabetes management. Insulin for us, along with the means to inject it, is as important to us as the air we breathe. We just cannot survive a single day without these injections.

Getting an insulin pump in 2017 was nothing short of miraculous. This was a day that I never thought would come. This pump is always connected to the body with a tiny needle which needs to be changed once in every 3 days – it’s microscopic in size and automatically injects my insulin. Yeah, this is pretty amazing!

That’s why I advocate for the community of diabetics in Maldives to soon have access to more effective treatment options, including different brands/types of insulin and increased availability across the country. It is my hope that insulin pen needles, lancets and test strips would soon be covered under Aasandha, the universal single-payer health insurance scheme of the Maldives. More of us with type 1 diabetes need to have access to insulin pumps, which provide us with an easier life. In Shaa Allah, we will soon have better days and find a cure for diabetes.

Follow Juzan on Instagram: @juzanmohamed