- Name: MUKASHEMA Jeanine
- Disease: Type 1 Diabetes
- Contact: 0786751575
I am Mukashema Jeanine from Nyanza District, living with type 1 diabetes for 11 years. My lived experience during the covid19 pandemic was marked by tons of challenges.
During the unusual period caused by the Covid-19 pandemic, it took me by feet, 2 hours and a half to reach the hospital. It was associated with the closure of roads and the confinement of public transportation services. It has been a big challenge that resulted in the deferment of medical appointments.
Financial hardship and shortage of medication supply characterized my life. Whether the covid-19 pandemic or not, to get both medicines and laboratory tests is always challenging because they are all high-priced. Sometimes I didn't even afford hospital services payment; therefore, I was obliged to leave my identification card until I got money to pay for services offered.
I spent a lot of time at the hospital even though I could not get anything to eat. It resulted in skipping dosage or failing to respect nutritional guides, thus cease to take medication as prescribed. I remember that I used medications reserved for only one month for three months, and when they were done, I started looking for money to buy others.
The undervaluation of People Living With Diabetes among their neighbours and society still exists. People who are not fully aware of Diabetes, use it to stigmatize people living with Diabetes. Particularly those with type 1 Diabetes who are on insulin therapy, saying that Diabetes results from personal responsibility failure.
As for advice and wishes, I am calling for increased education of Diabetes in the general public to break away mythic characters. Moreover, government and civil society organizations working on non-communicable diseases should work collaboratively to assist people living with type 1 Diabetes to afford their daily needs, including food, insurance, and transport to healthcare facilities.