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Lions GAT Fights Against Diabetes in Kenya

Michael DiMaria November 13, 2018

Big challenges require big solutions. That’s why Lions in Kenya, Nairobi turned to the Global Action team (GAT) in their fight against diabetes. 
 
The GAT believes in taking a one-team approach, working together to increase leadership development and membership opportunities, and to promote innovative and impactful service projects in communities all over the world. Through teamwork, a small idea in a rural community can grow into the next big idea that impacts millions across a country.

Lions in Kenya who saw a need and leveraged the power of the GAT one-team approach are now leading efforts to bring diabetes awareness, treatment and support to communities in and around the capital city of Kenya, Nairobi.  

A Solid Foundation

Kenyan Lions began the fight against diabetes ten years ago. And with diabetes recently becoming a focus of Kenya’s Ministry of Health, Global Action Team leaders saw the opportunity to expand the care they were providing. Through their existing partnerships with the Lions Sight First Eye Hospital and M.P. Shah Hospital in Nairobi, these leaders conceived the idea of Lions Diabetes Care Centers, and opened the first center in April 2017.

. . . so many people around Africa and other parts of the world . . . do not even know they are suffering from this deadly disease.

Lions leveraged professional expertise and partnerships with healthcare providers, Lions hospitals and diabetes centers to provide comprehensive screenings, follow-up care and educational materials and resources. Each pillar of the Global Action Team had a role in expanding diabetes education, screenings and continuing care for those most in need.

Harnessing Synergy

Here’s how the GAT brought together service, leadership development and membership to multiply their impact in Nairobi:

Service – Lions of Kenya hosted diabetes screenings at hospitals, schools, businesses and rural and poor areas for all Kenyans. Educational material was distributed to all who came for screenings. Those who were diagnosed with diabetes or at risk of diabetes were immediately connected to health support services, which included follow-up and on-going care. All of this is done at a single point of service!

Kenyan Lion explains the diabetes screening to a mother and child

Leadership Development - Leadership development is more than just training. It’s critical to identify and seize opportunities to lead. Global Action Team leaders in Kenya took advantage of those opportunities and worked within the new diabetes care centers to develop staff, and train medical students and members of the community.  Training opportunities included peer leader training for diabetes support groups, and training for outreach and education field support groups.

PID Manoj Shah (GST Constitutional Area Leader for Africa) and Manilal Dodhia (PDG and Vice-Chairman MP Shah Hospital Nairobi, Kenya) visit with patients and Lions.

Membership - Lions of Kenya mobilized their existing membership with outside partners and members of the community during World Diabetes Day in November 2017. They served together, raising awareness during the lead up to service on World Diabetes Day. From that shared experience, a new specialty club was chartered with a vision to educate and create more diabetes awareness in the community.

Dr. Fabien Collis, charter member of the Nairobi Phoenix Lions Club, consults with diabetic patient and clinic staff

Nairobi Phoenix Lions Club is proud to be a specialty Lions club focusing on diabetes as its global cause. With their scheduled outreach camps, they have screened more than 15,000 people and supported over 320 new diagnosed cases. They have also provided support through counseling and training to those already living with the disease. It’s great to be a Lion and help in the fight against diabetes.

"I care about diabetes because my whole family is affected by it. I see my family members injecting themselves with insulin every day. Just like them, there are so many people around Africa and other parts of the world who do not even know they are suffering from this deadly disease.”

Soyum Shah
Lions Club Nairobi Phoenix

What started as Lion leaders seizing an opportunity to meet community needs by providing diabetes education and care has grown into a movement, serving almost half a million people. As a result of service, nearly 800 members of the community and local partners joined the Lions family. And among those new members are the next generation of Lion leaders.

They not only saw the impact of service. They experienced it. 

Learn how you can harness the power of the GAT today.