Diabetic patients ask government to reduce drug prices

While the world celebrates the Diabetes Day each 14 November, people suffering from diabetes in Burundi ask the government to help reduce the prices of the drugs.

diabeteAdidja, a 49 year-old woman, says she was diagnosed with diabetes when she was 37. “I am obliged to have a special diet. I have to consult a doctor every time I feel bad. It is also a burden for the whole family because it is not rich enough to meet all these expenses,” she says.

Dismas, father of two, is also a diabetic and civil servant. He says he uses insulin treatment which he says is very expensive. “I am not among vulnerable people but I find it hard to get the drugs because they are very expensive,” he says.

He asks the government to abolish taxes on diabetes drugs as it does for HIV-AIDS medicines and invest much effort in helping diabetic patients get them. “It seems that the government has left diabetic patients to be helped by the associations engaged in the fight against this sickness. It should put in much effort in assisting people suffering from diabetes,” he says adding that there is a need for a daily sensitization about the disease instead of celebrating a single day in a year as though it is an anniversary.

Spès Nsavyimana, representative of Aprepidia, an association engaged in the fight against diabetes and helping diabetics, says people struggle to get the drugs. “There used to be a belief that only rich people suffer from diabetes but it is not true because the association receives poor people, too. Buying those drugs is still a major concern for them because only children receive them for free.”

Mrs. Nsavyimana says diabetes is the third disease that kills many people in Burundi after HIV-AIDS and malaria. She calls for more sensitization to fight against the disease.
In Burundi this day was celebrated on 14 November under the theme: “The family and diabetes” in Kiganda commune of Muramvya province, in the center of Burundi.