A children’s diabetes specialist from Blackpool has been honoured for his work to help youngsters with the disease in Africa.
Dr Mohammed Ahmed, a specialist in childhood diabetes at Blackpool Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, recently spent three weeks in Nigeria to share his knowledge and experience with healthcare professionals in the country and received a special award for his effort.
Dr Ahmed, who has worked in Blackpool for 13 years, received a special honour from the Paediatric Endocrinology Training Centre for West Africa (PETCWA) for his “selfless and invaluable contributions’’ to the organisation.
Dr Ahmed said: “I am from Nigeria and it was an honour to be able to go back and pass on my skills to young doctors in the country to help give them extra skills to help children with the condition as well as see patients myself.
“Like most countries diabetes is a growing problem in Nigeria but their levels of awareness of how to cope and treat the condition and the equipment they have available for patients is a long way behind this country.
“I did see young patients when I was there myself and it can be heart breaking to see young children suffer because they have to pay for their own treatments. There was one young boy I saw who had not had insulin for three weeks because he couldn’t afford it so I paid for it myself.
“I love being able to give something back and it is something I want to do more of in the next few years to provide more support for children with diabetes.”
The aim of PETCWA is to improve care for children with type 1 diabetes and related childhood endocrine disorders in nine West African countries.
The mortality rate of children with diabetes is high in many West African countries. The life expectancy of a child diagnosed with type 1 diabetes is typically low and the children often die even before they are diagnosed.
Children who survive into adolescence experience early onset of complications and premature death because of poor quality of care and disease management.