Self-Management and Support in diabetes

Healthy food choices in diabetes
0 of 15,000 USD

Nineteen million adults are living with diabetes in Africa, out of which 4.6 million are in South Africa1. As it is in several other African countries, type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM) in South Africa is generally a poorly controlled condition2 warranting innovative interventional measures. Diabetes self-management education and support (DSMES) is very beneficial in improving diabetes outcomes3,4and feasible in resource-limited settings. Nutrition education support is particularly important in T2DM, a condition associated with unhealthy lifestyles and obesity with consequent insulin resistance and faulty metabolism of macronutrients.

With good self-management, people living with diabetes can have a quality of life and a reduced risk for diabetes complications. Effective diabetes self-management can help to prevent hospital admissions or reduce the number of hospital visits for whatever reason, and a better experience when they do.

Target audience

People of low economic background living with diabetes mellitus including men, women, and children in Tshwane district, Gauteng, South Africa.

Project Goal

To contribute to the realisation of goal 3 of the sustainable development goal – ensuring healthy lives and promoting well-being for all by providing information and skills for people living with diabetes to manage their diabetes and associated conditions.

Our Approach to self-management and support in diabetes

Well Being Africa (WBA) implements diabetes self-management education and support as follows:

  1. Updating our database of existing and newly diagnosed individuals through the clinics and hospitals.
  2. Providing the six basic components of diabetes self-care which include knowing about the disease, monitoring their glucose, taking their medications, healthy food choices and portion size, getting active, keeping the doctor’s appointments.
  3. Establishing diabetes support groups through virtual platforms namely WhatsApp groups and zoom.
  4. Referring newly enlisted people living with diabetes to WBA’s established diabetes support groups.
  5. Keeping in touch with our audience through regular email, SMSs, and WhatsApp messages with updates on recent advances in diabetes self-management and care.


  1. International Diabetes Federation (IDF) 2020. Diabetes in Africa.
  2. Adeniyi OV. Yogeswaran P, Longo-Mbenza B, Ter Goon D, & Ajayi A I. 2016. Cross-sectional study of patients with type 2 diabetes in OR Tambo district, South Africa. BMJ open, 6(7), e010875.
  3. Beck J, Greenwood DA, Blanton L et al. 2018. 2017. National Standards for Diabetes Self-Management Education and Support. AADE Position Statements. 44 (1): 35-50.
  4. Muchiri J, Gericke G, & Rheeder P. 2015. Effect of a nutrition education programme on clinical status and dietary behaviours of adults with type 2 diabetes in a resource-limited setting in South Africa: a randomised controlled trial. Public health nutrition. -1. 1-14. 10.1017/S1368980015000956.