MPR reporter Lorna Benson profiles Dr. Grace Buwule today (“Uganda doctor takes home diabetes strategies honed in Minnesota“). Buwule takes what he learns in Minnesota, with the hope of making a difference in combating the disease in Uganda.
University of Minnesota diabetes doctor Toni Moran knows first hand the challenges Buwule faces. Moran spent a couple weeks at Buwule’s clinic this summer.
“The situation was so desperate that I couldn’t help thinking of all the ways that just little, little things could help make a difference,” says Moran.
What does this have to do with Minnesota? Listen To Kayci Rush, whose 8-year-old was one of Dr. Moran’s patients, and who sponsors a program to provide insulin and testing supplies for kids.
But remember, lack of access is not just a 3rd world problem. Here in Minneapolis, working poor and immigrant families who have diabetes struggle to control their disease. Free clinics, like the ones run by the Sisters of Carondelet, can only provide limited testing supplies and insulin to a very limited number of patients.
In the U.S. the supplies for Kayci Rush’s son would cost the family $500 a month.
Diabetes is the sixth-leading cause of death in Minnesota. The rate among adults has nearly doubled in the last ten years, according to the Minnesota Department of Health. With obesity rates soaring, the problem is sure to get worse. Dr. Kevin Peterson of Minneapolis, suggests an aggressive approach to fat kids before they develop diabetes, by the way. He suggests tactics learned from tobacco and alcohol treatment. For parents, that also means limiting TV and computer time to 2 hours a day, which sounds like blaming technology. He’s not. He’s blaming parents. The ones who have to spend $500 a month.