Helping Diabetics in Palestine Take Charge of Their Care

May 27, 2010 ANERA
Health, In-Kind Medical and Relief, West Bank

“What is prohibited is always desired.” That is how Fatima Al-Nazir, wife of a diabetic, summed up her husband’s experience with diabetes. “My husband gets very annoyed being monitored for what he is eating and sometimes eats sweets just to spite me,” she laughingly said. “That’s why I sometimes try hiding sweets from him!”

Despite all the fears and concerns that haunt people with diabetes, restraining the body from its desire for sweets is the most painful challenge a person suffering from diabetes will face.

Salim, Fatima’s husband, has been suffering from diabetes for 25 years. Fatima, being an executive secretary at the hospital in Hebron where Salim receives his treatment, is most fortunate to be surrounded by doctors and nurses to help her with any information regarding her husband’s condition.

Dr. Fawzi Amr, a plaster and bone technician, is a colleague of Fatima’s at Al Ahli and shares Salim’s struggle with diabetes. “I must admit I cheat from time to time! I just surrender to my body’s demand for something sweet or fatty, and the Middle Eastern cuisine is all about that,” said Dr. Amr.

Both Salim and Dr. Amr are carriers of diabetes mellitus type 2, a common type of diabetes that results from insulin resistance. They are also recent beneficiaries of an AmeriCares donation of a diabetes medication. The donation contained 9 bottles of Metformin 500 mg, each containing 1,000 tablets.

“This medication has helped me lose 10 kg and has also been helping me regulate myself and deal with this disease efficiently,”

“Type 2 diabetes is a less serious type of diabetes that is mainly caused by obesity and the inadequate production of insulin in the body. This medication we’ve recently received is the best choice for overweight diabetics. It controls the absorption of starches, decreases the formation of sugar in the liver, and stimulates the pancreas to produce insulin progressively without over-working it,” explained Dr. Majed Dweik, Head of Internal Medicine. “This disease is third among the most dangerous diseases in the world after heart disease and cancer. Its control over your everyday life can affect you both physically and psychologically.”

“This medication has helped me lose 10 kg and has also been helping me regulate myself and deal with this disease efficiently,” explained Dr. Amr. “It has helped me control my incessant thirst and overactive bladder. For instance, I am now able to sleep soundly and don’t have to get up at night to go to the bathroom, while, before taking this medication, I used to get up three times a night.”

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