The first diabetes youth camp in Rwanda took place with success at Mwulire Educational Center from 6th to 12th January 2013.The camp was attended by 52 diabetes youth under 26 years old from all areas of the country. Organized by the RWANDA DIABETES ASSOCIATION and supported by special guests from   GERMANY, Mme Heidi Schmidt- Schmiedebach (Insulin Zum Leben) and JuttaBurger-Busing (Diabetes-Zentrum), together with Rwanda Diabetes Association were the main sponsors of the camp.


DSC04934The reason of this camp was to start to resolve some problems which came from the status diagnosed in most of the young people with diabetic in Rwanda helped by Rwanda Diabetes Association characterized by lack of knowledge about self management vis-à-vis diabetes, loneliness, lack of confidence about their future because many of them stopped schools because of diabetes and stigmatization from themselves and their circle of acquaintances.

The purpose of this camp initiated by Rwanda Diabetes Association was to raise hope of youth with diabetes in Rwanda which is rarely existent in the youth’s diabetes life. The MOTTO word of the first camp in Rwanda was “Live better with diabetes“.


–          An experience that will change their lives

–          5 days of diabetes education, sharing experiences and fun

–          Making relationship between youth

–          Meeting with others from all regions in order to avoid isolation

–          Survive counting on their families without depending on them

–          Get more information about diabetes

–          Get a chance to ask as much as possible the questions about challenges of their life style.


The camp was opened officially on its 5th day by the delegate of the Minister, Dr Adolphe Karenzi from the Ministry of Health, Non Communicable Disease department because of his many duties; he could not come on the first day. He encouraged youth with diabetes to follow up carefully their health by following seriously the tips got from the camp and from their treating team; you are the future of Rwanda and we want you to be healthy for its best, he added.

He saluted ARD initiative and the honor of being partner of such innovative efforts. He ended by saying that the Ministry of Health in collaboration with their partners like ARD will do the best in order to improve the life of diabetes patients and to keep this happening.

The local authorities were represented by the delegate of the mayor who has in his speech guaranteed the authority’s support and security during the activities of camp.



Opening speech by Dr KARENZI the representative of Ministry of health (left), Crispin Gishoma, coordinator of the camp (right)

The ARD representative in his speech, Crispin Gishoma thanked and welcomed participants and guests, he invited the youth to be attentive during the camp in order to have sufficient knowledge about diabetes and to share experiences acquired among them. He invited also the youth to express their fillings and ideas and have fun.


Heidi Schimidit Schimiedebach from Insulin Zum Leben from Germany, the main sponsor of the camp has emphasized on the use of the assets they have to live better with diabetes. According to her own experience as a diabetic and diabetes educator, having diabetes is not the end of life. The objective of the camp is to restore hope so that anything cannot stop your activities. Note that other anonymous German donors supported this camp.


I would have been dead without ARD’s help, my knowledge about diabetes saved me, before I was desperate and use to have accidents which I did not know the causes and since I was educated, I manage diabetes better, I feel confident, healthier and I can work” witnessed a patient educated using Diabetes Conversation MAP in Rwanda.

Diabetes as an incurable diseases with long term complications, has to be well known by a diabetes patients hence learning to live with it 24hours a day. To avoid complications, it is therefore important and crucial as far as possible for a diabetic to have knowledge about diabetes in order to adopt an appropriate life style

To make it happen, Rwanda diabetes Association (ARD) has stepped up effort to help diabetes patients through teaching so as to enhance their knowledge about diabetes disease; as well as improving their welfare



Normally within ARD’s responsibilities, education and training about diabetes are priorities and it is done on a daily basis, it is therefore out of this ARD makes a lot efforts for its personnel being trained as well as health professionals from different hospitals in the country, so that it reaches as many as possible patients across the country. Our aim is to inform and educate the best diabetes self follow-up and self management.

Two educators from ARD, Ugirumurera Anne-Marie and Mukamazimpaka Alivera were selected to be trained on Diabetes Conversation Map in Uganda, test, fostering more on diabetes education through the use of the new tool of diabetes education Conversation map tool. The two expert educators on Conversation MAP tool trained other educators in ARD’s staff and this knowledge is kept shared in Rwanda through hospitals.

Here are the names of hospitals the Conversation MAP tool is being used to educate patients after the educators trained the nurses:

Ruhengeri hospital,  Nyanza hospital, CS Nyanza, Muhororo hospital, Kibungo hospital, Shyira, Kabaya Gisenyi, Gitwe hospital, Nemba , Ruli hospitals, Ngarama, Clinique iramiro and Muhororo, Gisenyi ,CHUB

By now 470 diabetes have been educated and 520 youth with diabetes type 1

This work have been accomplished through our partners’ cooperation, namely IDF, Eli Lily, the Ministry of Health and the above mentioned hospitals, by availing nurses as to enable them to participate in this activity.

ARD faced a number of challenges during this action including limited budget, and the fact that the trained nurses delay in reporting results, which enables to know how successful made it.



Our vision is to extend the program country wide, hospitals, health centers and homes. The more people we reach, the more we save.





Launch of World Diabetes Day by fighting overweight and discrimination of over-weighted and diabetics people

Together with the over-weighted people  living in Kigali who sometimes fear to show up in public, Rwanda Diabetes Association launched the WDD by encouraging the over-weighted people to make sports and advocate against discrimination of this category of people.

Diabetes type 2 as a result of over-weight, this category of people is mostly treated unfavorably the same as other people in the society. The launch event was made into four activities:
 -Education about diabetes and nutrition
– Screening
– walkAll these main activities were made to show the over-weighted people that exercise is not meant for some particular category of people, everyone can make exercise whatever weight he/she got. Rwanda Diabetes Association wanted to emphasize on  how important is exercise and a healthy diet to fight against Diabetes and cardio-vascular diseases.A commitment to make it a weekly event came out of the present people.

Rwanda Diabetes Association involves the health authorities to the World Diabetes Day campaign

The World Diabetes Day is the most used opportunity to advocate, educate and make diabetes awareness  in Rwanda. Rwanda Diabetes Association with its partners have not yet decided what events will be done on that day but the campaign has already started with a number of activities such as its introduction to the directors of hospitals and other health authorities who are the main actors in the World Diabetes Day.

Youth with diabetes from Kigali who are registered in Life For A Child Program received  meters and strips through this campaign launch. The media in Rwanda will also be one of the target to reach in the coming days since their contribution is crucial for the World Diabetes Day success.

Life for a Child poster

LFAC poster

Conversation MAP

MAP poster_6918058

Rwanda Diabetes Association

ARD poster


Rwanda Diabetes Association is a body that was formed principally to promote both medical and health welfare of people suffering from diabetes in Rwanda. In this regard to the improvement of human resources that is intended to help the Association in the fight and the prevention of diabetes.

The Association in conjunction with the World  Diabetes Foundation (WDF) and the Ministry of Health during 5 years have managed to train over 800 Health professionals in Rwanda who have actually played a vital role in the treatment and care towards diabetes patients in the country.

Our History

Rwanda Diabetes Association is a private organization founded in 1997 with the aim of improving the well being of the diabetes patients in Rwanda and of joining the global efforts to advocate and help diabetics.

During the last 12 years Rwanda Diabetes Association together with its partners dispensed care to diabetics in Rwanda and other patients within its clinic, provided information on diabetes management, trained health professionals, advocated for diabetics in Rwanda and abroad, pro-acted for diabetes treatement innovations, created a network between diabetes care stakeholders, looked for indigenious diabetics and gave help, etc.

RDA joins the campaign to encourage sports in Rwanda during the Olympic Day

On 23rd June, Rwanda Diabetes Association joined Rwanda Olympic Commitee on the Olympic day 2012 at Petit Stade Kigali. Many activities were organised during this event including a walk in Kigali, aerobics and a race for kids. Rwanda Diabetes Association  assisted the Rwanda Olympic Committee with preparation. ARD staff provided a free screening and education to the present participants composed of politicians, sportsmen, teachers and students. 7% of the people screened were diagnosed diabetic (high blood sugar) and only one of them was aware about his situation. The speakers emphasised on the importance of physical activities to prevent diabetes and other cardio-vascular diseases.

 The event ended with songs performed by famous singers in Kigali, KITOKO and Dream Boys and the all the kids were singing and dancing along.