It’s time to get logging

Diabetes data at your fingertips doesn’t just provide ease of access, it can also lead to therapy optimisation and better diabetes management. Find out more about what logging can do for you.

You’ve probably thought about keeping a diabetes logbook before, right? While it may feel like a chore you don’t have time for, keeping track of your blood glucose numbers is one of the many simple solutions that can improve your diabetes management.

Diabetes and data

Diabetes and data go hand in hand. Without proper data, it’s hard to know what to change or where to focus. To optimise your therapy, your doctor needs as much information as possible. While your HbA1c gives a good general indication, it could be deceptive and often doesn’t provide enough information.

You can also benefit from logging your data. Regular logging will help you gain a better understanding of your diabetes. If you note down additional therapy-related information (food intake, physical activity, insulin dosage), correlations with your blood glucose become much clearer and easier to understand. This will allow you to identify patterns quickly and make the necessary changes.

Finding the right diabetes logbook tool

Finding the right tool(s) is critical. Paper logbooks can be frustrating for a few reasons:

  • There isn’t enough space to include everything you want to.
  • You forget to take it with you (especially when you go to the doctor).
  • You might lose it.
  • Your writing may not be readable.
  • Looking at a page of numbers makes it very difficult to identify any trends or patterns.

Automatic logging

With mySugr all of that is changed. Connect your Accu-Chek Instant Bluetooth-enabled Blood Glucose Meter to the mySugr app, and all of your blood glucose data is transferred automatically. Patterns are super easy to spot, and the information is immediately useful. You can even share your information with your doctor via a PDF report. Plus, you can add additional information that is relevant, such as exercise type and time, medication use, and your food intake.

Get started, get logging

The benefits of logging are compelling, and thanks to connected devices and apps such as mySugr, it’s becoming simpler and easier.  It’s time to get connected and get started.

How to connect

Connecting your Accu-Chek Instant with mySugr is a snap. First things first, have your smartphone and your Accu-Chek meter handy. (Some users find it easier to have the PIN from the back of their Accu-Chek Instant written down ahead of time for easier visibility before starting the pairing process).

  1. Download mySugr from the App Store or Google Play Store and create your mySugr account.
  2. Turn on your phone’s Bluetooth and select Connections from the menu.
  3. Select your Accu-Chek Instant from the list shown and tap Connect Now.
  4. Follow the instructions on your smartphone screen.
  5. Find the matching PIN on the back of your meter just below the battery and enter it into your phone.

Voilà! Your device is now connected. From here on out, the mySugr app will act as chief communication officer between you and your Accu-Chek Instant. That means any settings adjusted within the mySugr app will be transferred to your Accu-Chek Instant meter once synchronisation is complete. Accu-Chek Instant users get a free upgrade to mySugr PRO.



To check if your mobile device is compatible with the mySugr app, please contact our customer support team. For more information, contact your healthcare professional.


  1. Diabetes log books [Internet]. Diabetes Education Online, Diabetes Teaching Center at the University of California, San Francisco. 2022 [Cited 2022 Nov 8]. Available from:
  2. American Diabetes Association (ADA) Standards of Medical Care in Diabetes 2021. Diabetes Care. 2021;44(Suppl 1).
  3. Weinstock RS, Aleppo G, Bailey TS, Bergenstal RM, Fisher WA, Greenwood DA, Young LA. The role of Blood glucose monitoring in diabetes management. Arlington, Va., American Diabetes Association, 2020.
  4. Klonoff DC. Improved Outcomes from Diabetes Monitoring: The Benefits of Better Adherence, Therapy Adjustments, Patient Education, and Telemedicine Support. J Diabetes Sci Technol. 2012;6(3):486–490.

Join the conversation @RocheDiabetesCareSSA

Visit the website for more information on our products and diabetes management tips.

Email: [email protected] | Toll Free: 080-34-22-38-37 (South Africa only) | +254 20 523 0560 (Kenya only) | +234-1227-8889 (Nigeria only) | +27 (11) 504 4677 (Other countries)

ACCU-CHEK, ACCU-CHEK INSTANT and MYSUGR are trademarks of Roche. All other product names and trademarks are property of their respective owners. | © 2022 Roche Diabetes Care | Roche Diabetes Care South Africa (Pty) Ltd. | Hertford Office Park, Building E | No 90 Bekker Road | Midrand, 1686, South Africa


Information provided is void of any representation and warranty as to the reliability, accuracy, usefulness, adequacy, or suitability of the information provided and is not a substitute for professional medical expertise or treatment for medical conditions, applications of medication. For personalised medical advice, consult an appropriate medical professional for queries regarding any medical conditions.

Make Froggie your choice of shoes this Spring

So many of us experience foot health issues; could it be, that we are not meant to wear shoes, such as high heels or shoes with pointed toes, that do not accommodate the natural structure of our feet? 

Sarah Gedye, Froggie Brand Manager

Sarah Gedye, Froggie Brand Manager, founder and absolute shoe fundi tells us more.

At Froggie, we have always considered how to make great-looking footwear comfortable. Recently, we focused on what we could do to make shoes for customers with exceptional needs. Specifically, a customer needing a shoe that can accommodate an insert; a common requirement for people living with diabetes and associated footwear implications.

To offer that extra bit of comfort, the team developed a footwear solution that provides extra cushioning underfoot with a fully removable padded footbed. The result: a shoe range with custom comfort that still looks fabulous.

For your choice of wear this season


Three styles: a closed back, two-strap sandal slingback sandal and three-strap slip-on.

  • The closed back sandal holds onto the foot securely at the back for increased stability while still providing airy, cool all-day wear.
  • The two-strap sandal, with velcro straps, is totally adjustable to the width of your feet and comes with extender straps should you require a little more length.
  • The three-strap is a comfy slip-on style with adjustable velcro straps, perfect for the South African heat and associated foot swelling.
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Sneakers, loafers and boots

Comfort and ease are key, especially for women on the go. Froggie sneakers, loafers and boots sport a classic leather look while the added padded footbed (removable) offers unparalleled comfort and convenience.

  • Classic leather Froggie sneakers with a refresh. These are elasticated and super easy to slip-on. Wear them with skinny jeans, summer shorts or even sweats.
  • Slip-on sneakers are chic and incredibly comfy. Wear them with skinny jeans, flares or pair them with shorts and skirts.
  • Mid-calf boots are a Froggie fav! This slightly boxy style, sits out from your leg, giving your calves a bit of breathing room. The gentle gathering on the leg gives this must-have genuine leather mild-weather staple, a stylishly slouchy yet feminine look.

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Our latest – Neo Sole Wedges

Aptly named “Neo” because this new style of wedge gives you that extra lift, yet also the stable comfort you look for in a wedge. This unique design was developed to include the Froggie comfort features, as well as echo the latest fashion trends from work to weekend-wear.

  • The Pump: New look with classic shape offering a lift with comfy stability. (Back Wedge Height: 6cm)
  • Are sporty trends your thing? This sneaker wedge with a cute lace-up is a winner: game-set-match!
  • This Slipper Cut Wedge offers a little more coverage and holds beautifully onto your foot while walking, or even running – if you’re in a rush.

We won’t deny, there was a lot of back and forth at the development stage plus the odd roadblock but, what we’ve found with anything challenging, when you’re backed by a passionate, cohesive team – nothing is impossible.


Come walk with Froggie Shoes – your step, our shoes.


How to use an app to help manage your diabetes

We learn how an app can make the road of managing your diabetes smoother and hump-free.

If you’re reading this, you already know how much goes on behind the scenes to manage your diabetes. You have to think about what happened recently, what’s happening right now and what you expect to happen in the coming hours. You’ve probably gotten so good that you don’t even consciously think about most of it, you just do it.

Then there’s the big-picture stuff: how you’re doing over a longer period of time. If you’re like many people, you don’t think about this until there’s a doctor’s appointment right around the corner.

Where does an app come in?

Keeping so much information in your brain doesn’t make sense. You can feel overwhelmed and unsure of your next move, second guess your decisions or get frustrated. That’s completely normal, and a good reason to outsource.

For certain parts of diabetes management, computers do better than humans: recording information and remembering it when requested, monitoring something over and over again, performing a task around the clock or spotting patterns and trends. Computers, especially smartphones, are perfect for a lot of diabetes-related work. They’re powerful and portable, they’re almost always with you, they’re connected to the world and they’re packed with sensors.

Being able to outsource diabetes work to an app on your smartphone means you have that much more brainpower for more important things in life.

How to use an app for your diabetes management

The future of diabetes data management is automated. With the mySugr app, the Accu-Chek Instant® will log your blood glucose measurements automatically. With a tap of your finger, you can quickly add details about your meals, your meds and any other information you think is important. You can even customise the logging screen, so you don’t waste time dealing with things that aren’t important for you.

The mySugr app can automatically pull in activity data from your phone so you can see exercise information alongside your blood glucose levels. Location services make it possible to search for past experiences, like eating at a restaurant. With two taps, you can see everything you’ve tried at that restaurant and how your blood glucose responded. Having this type of information at your fingertips helps you make more informed decisions. That’s powerful!

You add the context

To give your story even more detail, you can add context:

  • Meal photos – Quick manual entry to help you manage your post-meal questions.
  • Notes – Add a quick note when something is out of the ordinary or if it helps explain a decision you made. You’ll even be able to search them later.
  • Tags – By far, it’s the easiest way to add useful information to your entry. You can select a tag for many common situations.

How many times has your doctor asked, “What happened here?” while looking over your reports? Now, you can just pull up the mySugr app on your smartphone and explain everything. It’s a great way to get the most out of an appointment.

So much is automated now, thanks to apps like mySugr and connected meters. Don’t feel like you have to do everything for your diabetes management. You have lots of help around!

How to connect?

Connecting your Accu-Chek Instant with mySugr is a snap. First things first, have your smartphone and your Accu-Chek meter handy. *

Once you have downloaded the mySugr app to your smartphone, follow the four easy steps below:

  1. Turn on your phone’s Bluetooth and select Connections from the menu.
  2. Select your Accu-Chek Instant from the list shown and tap Connect Now.
  3. Follow the instructions on your smartphone screen.
  4. Find the matching PIN on the back of your meter just below the battery and enter it into your phone.

Voilà! Your device is now connected. From here on out, the mySugr app will act as chief communication officer between you and your Accu-Chek Instant. That means any settings adjusted within the mySugr app will be transferred to your Accu-Chek Instant meter once synchronisation is complete.

*Some users find it easier to have the PIN from the back of their Accu-Chek Instant written down ahead of time for easier visibility before starting the pairing process.

To check if your mobile device is compatible with the mySugr app, please contact our customer support team. For more information, contact your healthcare professional.


Join the conversation @RocheDiabetesCareSSA

Visit the website for more information on our products and diabetes management tips.

Email: [email protected] | Toll Free: 080-34-22-38-37 (South Africa only) | +254 20 523 0560 (Kenya only) | +234-1227-8889 (Nigeria only) | +27 (11) 504 4677 (Other countries)

ACCU-CHEK, ACCU-CHEK INSTANT and MYSUGR are trademarks of Roche. All other product names and trademarks are property of their respective owners. | © 2022 Roche Diabetes Care | Roche Diabetes Care South Africa (Pty) Ltd. | Hertford Office Park, Building E | No 90 Bekker Road | Midrand, 1686, South Africa


Prevent the silent onset of chronic kidney disease

This National Kidney Awareness Week (5 to 9 September 2022), let’s really appreciate these vital organs and make sure we’re living in a way that promotes our kidney health.

“By the time most people become aware that their kidneys are failing, they will already have lost 50% of their kidney function.”

Kidney disease is an irreversible illness that affects 10% of people across the world, and up to one in eight people in South Africa.

Function of the kidneys

The kidneys are a pair of bean-shaped organs found at the back of the body at about the level of the waist. Each kidney holds thousands of filtering units. As our blood moves through them, they filter waste products and extra water out and these are released in our urine.

Paediatric nephrologist, Professor Errol Gottlich, says, “Kidney disease is silent, meaning it often develops without any noticeable symptoms. By the time most people become aware that their kidneys are failing, they will already have lost 50% of their kidney function.”

“Kidneys also balance our fluid levels ensuring we don’t become over-hydrated or dehydrated. They normalise electrolytes and blood pressure, assist in calcium metabolism and prevent anaemia.”

“Our kidneys are essential for a normal, healthy lifestyle. The kidneys fulfil many roles, the most important of which is excreting toxins out of the body in the urine.”

Prof Gottlich also heads up Discovery Health Medical Scheme’s Kidney Care Programme, which is designed to ensure the best quality of care and life for medical scheme members on chronic dialysis.

Paediatrician, Dr Nokukhanya Ngubane-Mwandla, adds, “The kidneys have multiple important functions in the body, including controlling acid-base homeostasis, water and electrolyte balance and blood pressure. They also produce certain hormones important for production of red blood cells and bone mineralisation.”

Dr Ngubane-Mwandla is the recipient of a 2020 Discovery Foundation Sub-Specialist Award and is using this support to work towards improving the lives of children with congenital and acquired renal pathology.

How to look after your kidneys

Taking care of your kidneys is as simple as leading a healthy lifestyle. Professor Gottlich recommends that people do the following:

  • Ensure regular exercise. Exercise for 30 minutes, five days a week. Even a brisk walk is an excellent form of exercise.
  • Adopt a balanced, healthy diet of unprocessed, fresh foods with no more than a teaspoon of added salt per day.
  • Regularly check and control your blood glucose.
  • Regularly check and control your blood pressure.
  • Drink an appropriate amount of fluids. Your doctor will explain how to adjust your fluid intake if you have kidney, heart or liver disease.
  • Don’t smoke as smoking slows the flow of blood to the kidneys.
  • Don’t take over-the-counter pain or anti-inflammatory pills regularly.Long term, frequent use of medicine, like Ibuprofen, can harm your kidneys.
  • Get your kidney function checked regularly if you have any of the high-risk factors, such as diabetes, high blood pressure, a family history of kidney disease, and being overweight or obese.

A silent disease: What damages kidneys and how?

Discovery Health’s data show that around 75% of renal (kidney) failure is a result of diabetes or hypertension (high blood pressure). Data from the National Kidney Foundation mirrors this with up to 65% of kidney failure in South African adults being attributed to hypertension and up to 25% due to Type 2 diabetes.”

“Uncontrolled diabetes can damage the blood vessels in your kidneys and can gradually decrease the functionality of this vital organ. And untreated high blood pressure experience damage to their kidney tissue as a result of blood vessels being exposed to a higher than normal blood pressure,” adds Professor Gottlich.

Other causes of kidney disease include living with HIV and other infectious diseases, auto-immune diseases, and structural abnormalities.

Dr Ngubane-Mwandla adds, “There is also a relatively high incidence of kidney problems among South African children. Some of these problems are congenital, which means that children are born with them, but several conditions are caused by malnourishment and gastric issues.”

This passionate doctor adds, “It would be great to implement screening programmes at schools or at primary healthcare facilities, in particular to ensure blood pressure and urine screening, to detect the early onset of kidney disease, especially those born prematurely, at a low birth weight or who have a family history of kidney disease.”

The National Kidney Foundation notes that up to 80% of chronic kidney failure may be preventable, making it vital to keep up regular screening checks that will identify signs of chronic diseases like kidney disease and others, as early as possible, in adults and children alike.

Catch the onset of kidney disease early on – simply screen

The good news is that, for most people, screening for kidney disease can be done as part of regular health check-ups.

“It’s really as simple as going to your primary healthcare provider and doing a screening test for high blood pressure, blood glucose levels and kidney functionality,” says Professor Gottlich.

“Essentially, your urine is an easily accessed window to your kidney health. A dipstick into the urine sample will show markers of possible kidney health issues.”

Treating chronic kidney disease

Once a person has chronic kidney disease, they will need to undergo chronic dialysis (an average of three sessions per week), explains Professor Gottlich. Patients may either undergo:

  • Peritoneal dialysis, which uses the lining of their abdomen to filter the blood inside their body.
  • Haemodialysis, which uses a dialysis machine and a special filter, called an artificial kidney or dialyser, to clean the patient’s blood.

“In addition to dialysis treatment, it is critical that patients live a healthier lifestyle and take prescribed medicine to control blood pressure, improve anaemia and bone health,” adds Professor Gottlich.

Complex illness and expensive to treat

Chronic kidney disease is a complex illness that is expensive to treat.

  • In 2021, Discovery Health paid out R1.5 billion in kidney treatment related claims for about 3,000 members – of which 0.6% was for members under the age of 18, reflecting the way in which kidney disease affects children too.
  • Interestingly in 2020 Discovery Health paid out a slightly higher R1.6 billion in claims from about 3,500 medical scheme members for kidney treatment. The 14% drop in members claiming between 2020 and 2021, shows the decrease in screening and treatment for kidney disease and other chronic treatment over the course of the COVID-19 pandemic. This is due to the fact that people have stayed away from healthcare facilities out of fear of exposure to COVID-19, due to stay-at-home measures imposed to curb the spread of infection, and also due to the redirection of resources in healthcare towards COVID-19 care, especially during peaks of infection.

Organ donation a lifesaver for people who live with kidney disease

“The most ideal therapy for chronic kidney disease is a kidney transplant,” says Professor Gottlich.

“However, there’s been a significant decrease in organ donors over the past two years because of COVID-19 and very few kidney transplants have been done during this time.”

Dr Ngubane-Mwandla adds, “There is a great need for organ donation and transplantation for kids too, particularly for those children treated in the state sector. Until transplanted, these children must stay on a chronic dialysis programme. Some, we transition to haemodialysis which is both costly and needs regular visits to the hospital so really affects and defines a child’s life. The sooner a child in need receives a kidney transplant, the better for the child and their family.”

One organ donor can save seven other lives. Your heart, liver and pancreas can save three lives and your kidneys and lungs can help up to four people. And, one tissue donor can help up to 50 people by donating their corneas, skin, bones, tendons and heart valves.

Sign up to be an organ donor – Organ Donor Foundation of South Africa.

All medical information in this article including content, graphics and images, is for educational and informational objectives only. Discovery Health publishes this content to help to empower diabetes patients and their families by promoting a better understanding of kidney disease.

Header image by Adobe Stock

Gummy Vites – Sugar-free treats for kids

Gummy Vites is here to help you reduce your child’s exposure to artificial and added sugars through not only foods and drinks, but vitamins as well.

Gummy Vites Everyday Sugar Free Multivitamin is the first ever sugar-free kids multivitamin that contains all the necessary vitamins and minerals without the added sugar to ensure normal growth and development, maintain good health, strengthen immunity and provide the right amount of energy throughout the day. Each gummy contains vitamins C, A, E, D3, B3, B5, B6, B7, B9, B12 and minerals, iodine and zinc.1

Alternatives to artificially sweetened treats

Trying to get your kids to eat their fruit and veggies can be a full-time job. But, it doesn’t have to be. You just need to get creative. There are so many alternatives to artificially sweetened treats like carrot cake naturally sweetened with pineapple and carrots, or pumpkin and butternut blondies.

We, at Gummy Vites, understand the struggle so here are our alternatives to artificially or added sugar sweet treats for kids. You can use fruit, some naturally sweeter veggies (carrots, pumpkin, butternut), fruit juice or dried fruits to sweeten treats for your children. Make sure to use 100% fruit juice and check that the juice doesn’t have any added sugars.

Babies and toddlers are generally happy with a subtler sweet flavour, so fruit or veggies would be suitable for creating sweet treats for them.2

Healthy ice cream

Try our healthy ice cream made by using frozen bananas and cream or coconut cream as the base.

You will need:

  • Frozen bananas (2 large)
  • Cream (250ml) or coconut cream (1 can)
  • High-powered blender
  • Plastic container
  • Freezer
  • Ice-cream scoop

You can always make plain banana flavoured ice cream, but to keep things interesting we suggest trying one of our flavour combinations as the banana flavour can easily be disguised. Here are our different flavours to try:

  • Cocoa (2 Tbsp) and vanilla essence (1 tsp)
  • Blueberries (½ cup) and cinnamon (1 tsp)
  • Peanut butter (2 Tbsp)
  • Mango (1/2 cup) and desiccated coconut (1 Tbsp)

1. Cut, peel and freeze your bananas.
2. Blend the frozen bananas.
3. Add in your chosen flavour (cocoa, berries, peanut butter or mango).
4. If it’s too thick, add a dash of cream or coconut cream. This will add some extra sweetness as well.
5. Store in the freezer in a plastic container until you are ready to serve.
6. Serve it with a sprinkle of your chosen flavour (cocoa, berries, peanut butter, or mango and desiccated coconut) on top.


  1. Gummy Vites Select Sugar Free Multivitamin Professional Information.
  2. A Whiteford, Fruit Sweetened Treats for Kids, 29 September 2021

Adcock Ingram Healthcare (Pty) Ltd. Reg. no. 2007/019928/07. Private Bag X69, Bryanston, 2021, 1 New Road, Erand Gardens, Midrand.
Customer Care: 0860ADCOCK/232625

Funding for CGM, a game changer for young Bella

Ten-year-old Bella Hawkins was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes at the tender age of two. Now, with medical scheme funding for a game-changing glucose sensor that attaches to Bella’s upper arm her diabetes management has gone to the next level.

Diagnosing Bella

“Bella Hawkins is one of the youngest patients I have diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes,” says Dr Neville Wellington, a Cape town-based GP with a diabetes speciality. “Bella’s parents had brought her in a few days before we diagnosed her. She had a nappy rash and was passing a lot of urine. At the time, I thought it was a case of thrush,” he explains.

Kerry, Bella’s mom, was seven months pregnant with Bella’s sister, Hayley, at the time. She adds, “We were also potty-training Bella at the time. We noticed that, not only was she going through a large number of nappies, she was also drinking over five litres of water a day from the dispenser attached to our fridge. We realised this as we kept having to refill it.”

Dr Wellington continues, “Two days later, on 30 April 2013, Bella was brought in again as she was really not herself. When I checked her blood glucose levels, they were very high. They should have been less than 7,8mmol/L, however, her blood glucose was at 53 mmol/L. Also, the goal in managing a patient with Type 1 diabetes is to get their HbA1c levels below 6%. When Bella was diagnosed, her HbA1c was at 12,5%.”

“Dr Wellington immediately diagnosed her with Type 1 diabetes. He guided us as to what to do next, putting Bella onto insulin replacement medicine in the form of injectable insulin contained in an easy-to-use pen,” Kerry explains.

Bribery in the form of stick-on tattoos

“For the first few weeks after Bella’s diagnosis, Lance, my husband, and I were both completely numb. We had a little one who was sick and were trying to wrap our heads around this as a lifelong illness. We had to prick her finger every two hours, draw drops of blood onto a test strip, insert this into a blood glucose monitor, wait for the reading, then inject Bella with insulin according to the blood glucose reading.”

“The only way to know what her blood glucose levels were doing was to prick, draw blood and test. We were causing her constant pain that she initially did not understand. We were also trying to understand the impact of everything she ate and drank on her blood glucose and learn to balance her levels with the right amount of insulin throughout the day.”

The first two months, Lance and Kerry injected Bella with insulin every two hours. This meant finger pricks (to extract drops of blood for analysis in a blood glucose monitor) every 40 minutes, before and after injecting with insulin.

“We would have to bribe her with sticker type, press-on tattoos. Eventually Bella was covered in them and looked like a gangster,” Kerry recalls. “Fortunately, Bella soon began to feel better, and this helped to get her buy-in to the process.”

Finding a healthy rhythm as a family

“Over time we were able to reduce the insulin we were giving Bella to five or so injections each day. This was due to lifestyle changes we made as a family, particularly towards healthier eating, with a focus on low-carbohydrate options, as we all followed the same plan. In fact, at seven months pregnant, I lost 7kg of weight. This was weight I needed to lose which I had gained by eating a high sugar and junk food diet. So, we all got healthier,” Kerry explains.

Bella got through pre-school with Kerry checking her insulin levels in the morning and at noon when she fetched her. By the time she went to primary school, Bella had learned to test her own blood glucose levels. She would send a WhatsApp message to her mom with the readings, and then inject the amount of insulin Kerry advised.

“Physical exercise really makes a difference to Bella’s glucose control,” Kerry adds. “On a Monday, she swims at school and its very clear that on Monday night her blood glucose levels are stable. This lasts through the night to the next morning when she wakes up fresh, energetic and hungry.”

“From a parent’s point of view, dealing with Type 1 diabetes in a child takes complete commitment. Children’s food preferences also change week-to-week at times, and we’re always trying to get the healthy food in, in ways that Bella and Hayley will enjoy.”

High-tech glucose monitoring trial

In 2020, a manufacturer of a continuous glucose monitoring (CGM) sensor device contacted Dr Wellington. He offered him an opportunity to give some of his patients access to the sensors for a month on a trial basis.

This sensor is around the size of a R5 coin. It attaches painlessly to the upper arm with a small needle inserted into the skin which detects blood glucose levels. This device takes a blood glucose reading every five minutes.

To access the reading, you only need to swipe a smartphone with the linked app over the sensor. This process is a giant leap from traditional finger-pricking techniques used by millions of people with diabetes all over the world. The sensors cost around R1 000 each, and each last for two weeks (so two are needed each month).

Dr Wellington was keen for Bella to use the device. It would allow for 24/7 monitoring of her blood glucose levels in the least invasive way possible.

“Before Bella had access to this sensor, it was unclear whether she was experiencing hypoglycaemic lows (very low blood glucose) at night when asleep. It was also very challenging to wake her and do finger prick-based blood glucose testing. When they did occur, Bella found the symptoms very frightening, like feeling weak, a high heart rate, confusion and blurred vision,” explains Dr Wellington.

Life changing experience

The chance to use a CGM device to get proper insight into her blood glucose levels proved life-changing for Bella. In children, these devices make a massive difference as they take away the need for finger pricks. They allow for an infinite number of readings at any time of day. They also allow older children to take their own readings in an instant while at school or elsewhere. The app gives others, like a treating doctor, access to the results. These devices offer an unprecedented opportunity to identify what is and isn’t working in the management of a child’s Type 1 diabetes, with minimal impact on the child’s life.

Discovery Health Medical Scheme funds sensors

Unfortunately, both Kerry and Lance faced changes to their employment at the end of 2020, which meant they could not afford the R2 000 a month for Bella’s sensors. “However, we knew the value of the device for Bella,” says Kerry. “And she told us that, for the first time in eight years, she could feel her fingertips as she stopped pricking them for a month.”

“We were absolutely thrilled when Discovery Health Medical Scheme (DHMS) announced that in 2021, they would fund the bulk of the cost of CGM devices for people who have Type 1 diabetes. We only pay R3 90 a month for two sensors. So, we only pay R195 towards each sensor and Discovery pays the rest, making them really affordable for us.”

“Now we can check Bella’s blood glucose levels as often as we like, simply by hovering my smartphone (using the linked app) over the sensor. This sensor has enhanced Bella’s understanding of her condition and its management, so much so that she has expressed an interest in studying medicine in future,” Kerry says.

Dr Wellington adds, “It’s a huge shock to any parent to have their child diagnosed with a lifelong illness like Type 1 diabetes. I want to commend her parents, Lance and Kerry, for their dedication to optimising Bella’s condition through the years. Bella has also been incredible in the way she has adapted to coping with the condition and testing her blood glucose regularly, and now to the use of CGM devices.”

Almost all of Dr Wellington’s patients have either Type 1 or Type 2 diabetes. His practice focuses heavily on managing and correcting these (Type 2 diabetes in particular) through a low carbohydrate nutrition approach.

All medical information in this article including content, graphics and images, is for educational and informational objectives only. Discovery Health publishes this content to help to empower diabetes patients and their families by promoting a better understanding of a diabetes retinopathy.

Header caption: Bella Hawkins holding her sister Hayley.

Accu-Chek Instant system – Simply clear diabetes management

We learn how the Accu-Chek Instant system assists with simple clear diabetes management.

The Accu-Chek Instant system is a unique solution designed to meet diverse needs of people with diabetes and their healthcare professionals.

The system features, such as the intuitive target range indicator and the on-board logbook, provide simply clear solutions to assist with blood glucose checking and interpretation.

The strip ejector interface supports simple diabetes management, and Bluetooth® connectivity offers quick insights virtually anytime and anywhere.

 Target range indicator1

  • Provides instant reassurance and clarity of high and low blood glucose readings.
  • Assists you to understand and interpret your readings more easily.
  • It can be individualised to suit therapy goals, using the mySugr application.

 Bluetooth® connectivity to mySugr diabetes management app* 

  • With over three million users worldwide2, the mySugr app facilitates decision support at the palm of your hand.
  • It’s an instant logbook with automatic and seamless transfer of readings.
  • View a snapshot of your diabetes on a daily basis. See trends, events and information in context.
  • Share detailed PDF reports via email with your healthcare provider.

Strip ejector

  • Because hygiene matters, the strip ejector allows for easy and hygienic disposal of used strips3.

Advanced accuracy4

The Accu-Chek Instant system provides reliable and accurate results having exceeded the ISO 15197:2013/EN ISO 15197:2015 accuracy requirement and delivers 10/10* accuracy.

*95% of results are within ± 10mg/dl (0.56 mmol/L) of the laboratory reference at glucose levels <5.5 mmol/L or ± 10% of laboratory reference value at glucose levels ≥ 5.5 mmol/L.

To check if your mobile device is compatible with the mySugr app, please contact our customer support team. For more information, contact your healthcare professional.


  1. Parkin C, Schwenke S, Ossege A, Gruchmann T. Use of an Integrated Tool for Interpretation of Blood Glucose Data Improves Correctness of Glycemic Risk Assessment in Individuals with Type 1 and Type 2 Diabetes. J Diabetes Sci Technol. 2016;11(1): 74 82
  2. mySugr Internal Data on File: January 2021
  3. Harvey C, Koubek R, B gat V, Jacob S. Usability Evaluation of a Blood Glucose Monitoring System with a Spill Resistant Vial, Easier Strip Handling, and Connectivity to a Mobile App: Improvement of Patient Convenience and Satisfaction. J Diabetes Sci Technol. 2016;10(5):1136 1141
  4. Breitenbeck N, Brown A. Accuracy Assessment of a Blood Glucose Monitoring System for Self-Testing with Three Test Strip Lots Following ISO 15197:2013/EN ISO 15197:2015. J Diabetes Sci Technol. 2016;11(4):854-855.

Visit the Roche Diabetes Care website at

Roche Diabetes Care South Africa (Pty) Ltd. Hertford Office Park, Building E, No. 90 Bekker Road, Midrand, 1686, South Africa. Call Toll Free: 080-34-22-38-37. Email: [email protected]

ACCU-CHEK INSTANT, MYSUGR and MAKE DIABETES SUCK LESS are trademarks of Roche. ©2022 Roche Diabetes Care

Why are diabetic socks needed?

Exclusive offer for Diabetes SA

Keen to try a pair of Sock Doctor’s better-for-you socks?

Head to

Their Mohair Medi Socks are designed specifically to aid in the therapeutic support for symptoms of diabetes, circulatory problems, Raynaud’s syndrome and sweaty feet. Find them here.

Use the code: GREATSOCKS for 20% off any website purchase.

Sock Doctor explains why diabetic socks are needed and the health benefits of wearing them.

Diabetes causes high blood glucose levels that can lead to blood vessel and nerve damage throughout the body, often affecting the feet and toes. This can be painful and can cause a numbness that makes it easier for a cut, blister or infection to go unnoticed. Furthermore, with reduced circulation, any wound can take longer to heal. Thus, diabetic socks like these from Sock Doctor are designed to support a critical aspect of diabetes management: foot care.

What makes a good quality diabetic sock?

Diabetic socks are designed specifically to keep feet dry, to prevent chafe or blisters and to help circulation. Here’s what to look for in a quality diabetic sock, recommended by podiatrists.

  • Made from breathable material

If you have diabetes and you’re concerned about foot care, you need socks that will keep your feet dry. These diabetic socks from Sock Doctor are made from bamboo and mohair.

 The capillary nature of mohair means that it has natural wickability and absorbs moisture quickly, keeping feet dry. The natural breathability and smooth fibres of mohair and bamboo also prevent the build-up of bacteria and keep feet odour-free.

  • Antibacterial and hypoallergenic

Bamboo has an inherent antibacterial agent, called bamboo kun, that helps prevent fungal infections and is completely hypoallergenic.

  • Seam-free

A raised seam in normal socks can cause friction, chafe and blisters. Diabetic socks are seam-free.

  • Don’t have an elastic bite

If you have diabetes, you’ll want to steer clear of any socks that impede circulation. Diabetic socks have a non-restrictive top to prevent elastic bite.

  • Always stay in place

Blisters and chafe are caused by a sock moving and rubbing against the shoe and the foot. Diabetic sock design in these socks from Sock Doctor see a high tab on the heel (for a short sock) or a super soft graduated fit (for a longer sock). These socks will stay in place for ultimate comfort.

  • Fully cushioned foot

A fully cushioned mohair foot offers maximum moisture absorption and protection (and huge comfort factor, too).

Why DSA endorses Sock Doctor’s diabetic socks

These diabetic socks from Sock Doctor are insanely comfortable. They’re made from the very best materials (bamboo and mohair); and the cushioned sole (plus no tight elastic or hard seams) leave your feet feeling fully supported and protected. For long hikes, runs, day-to-day wear, these socks are 100% worth the investment.

Offer valid until 30 June 2022.


Interested? Browse the full range at

New Diabetic Retinopathy Screening Benefit launched

Discovery Health launches new Diabetic Retinopathy Screening Benefit, enhanced by a cutting-edge artificial intelligence system and designed to detect the onset of diabetic retinopathy as early as possible.

People who live with diabetes (whether Type 1 or 2) are at heightened risk for several serious healthcare complications that affect various parts of the body. One of these complications is a condition known as diabetic retinopathy, and this can severely affect vision over time.

Persistently high blood glucose levels, which are typical of diabetes, cause damage to blood vessels throughout the body. This damage is more apparent in smaller blood vessels which are more vulnerable, like the tiny blood vessels at the back of the eyes. Diabetic retinopathy is a condition in which there is damage to the blood vessels of the light sensitive tissue at the back of the eye.

“This condition may present with only minor changes in our vision which may come and go, but it can also be entirely asymptomatic,” says CEO of Discovery Health, Dr Ryan Noach. “Of course, tight control of diabetes is key to preventing the start and progression of diabetic retinopathy. However, regularly undergoing screening for the early warning signs of diabetic retinopathy is equally important to nipping the condition in the bud and ensuring good eye health.”

Diabetic Retinopathy Screening Benefit

“This is why Discovery Health Medical Scheme (DHMS) has launched the new Diabetic Retinopathy Screening Benefit, designed to detect the onset of diabetic retinopathy as early as possible.”

“Through this benefit, we hope to increase the number of DHMS members who are screened for diabetic retinopathy. We take great pride in offering screening using the best available assessment tools and leading artificial intelligence technologies while we also have the great privilege of sending each member to our excellent network of participating optometrists, ophthalmologists, and GPs for their screening, broader assessment and clinical management.”

Less than one quarter of members living with diabetes were screened in 2020

“Our analysis of screening rates among DHMS members who are living with diabetes unfortunately shows low levels of adherence to important annual screening checks. In 2020, only 24% of DHMS members living with diabetes were screened for diabetic retinopathy,” explains Dr Noach.

“It’s understandable that one of the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic and associated mitigation measures, has been a change to health-seeking behaviour, and a consequent marked reduction in care for non-COVID conditions. Preventative and screening healthcare interventions have declined markedly since the start of the pandemic. It’s critical that we reverse these trends to detect the onset of diabetic retinopathy as early as possible, even before symptoms appear.”

Available on all plans

“Discovery Health has always focused on incentivising, simplifying and enhancing member access to evidence-based preventative healthcare screening. The DHMS Diabetic Retinopathy Screening Benefit is fully aligned to this ethos. It gives members easy access to annual screening which is conducted using cutting-edge AI technology, followed up by a clear referral process, and supported by scheme benefits. We have also set up automated reminders that will prompt eligible scheme members to report for their annual screening check.”

“Regardless of which medical plan a member is on, they have access to screening that can prevent the significant reduction in their quality of life that advanced diabetic retinopathy brings.”

The Diabetic Retinopathy Screening Benefit follows a simple, three-level process:

1. Primary grading

Photography of the retina and assessment for signs of diabetic retinopathy

Participating healthcare professionals use a digital retinal camera to take photographs of their patients’ eyes.
These photographs are uploaded to a highly-sensitive artificial intelligence (AI) system that automatically generates a report.
Where no signs of disease are detected, members can be screened again in the next year.

2. Secondary grading

Eye examination performed by an optometrist.

If signs of disease are detected by the AI system during primary grading, a full eye examination for secondary grading may occur at the same or subsequent appointment.

3. Tertiary grading

Diagnosis and treatment by an ophthalmologist. 

Following secondary grading, where necessary, scheme members will be referred to an ophthalmologist to confirm the diagnosis of retinopathy, and for long-term specialist care.

Benefits for scheme members and healthcare providers

This simple yet highly comprehensive three-step process ensures that eligible scheme members benefit from the chance to utilise the highly-accessible services of optometrist practices for the necessary screening,” adds Dr Noach. “Furthermore, the primary and secondary grading levels require no member co-payments at all as these are funded from scheme benefits.”

“Diabetes care teams are enhanced by the inclusion of participating optometrists and GPs, who offer digital fundus camera photography analysed by an advanced AI system.”

EyeArt AI Eye Screening System

Frank Cheng, President of Eyenuk, developer of the EyeArt AI Eye Screening System, adds,We applaud Discovery Health’s leadership for being the first payor to bring our EyeArt AI system to South Africa. The EyeArt AI system is the most extensively validated and adopted AI system for automated diabetic retinopathy detection in real-world settings. It has been cleared by regulatory authorities around the world, including the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), and is reimbursed by government and private payors in the U.S.”

Accessing the Diabetic Retinopathy Screening Benefit

The Diabetic Retinopathy Screening Benefit will be available to all patients who are registered on the Chronic Illness Benefit (CIB) for diabetes Type 1 or Type 2.

  • The benefit covers one annual retinal screening each year for diabetic retinopathy (DR).
  • Qualifying scheme members do not require pre-authorisations to access the necessary cover.

Locating participating healthcare practitioners

  • Find a provider who is part of our screening network by logging on to > Medical aid > Find a doctor > Find a doctor close to you. Search for “Optometrists” in an area conveniently located for you. You can find providers who offer screening for diabetic retinopathy by filtering your search:
  1. Select “COVER”
  2. Deselect “Full network Cover” and choose “Additional/Other Cover” to select “Diabetic Retinopathy Screening”.

2021 DHMS cover for primary grading exams

DHMS pays for primary grading examinations from Scheme benefits.

If indicated following primary grading, secondary grading examinations are also paid from scheme benefits.  “This means that patients will not have out-of-pocket payments and that no claims will be deducted from their Medical Savings Account (MSA) balance,” says Dr Noach.

Participating healthcare providers may not charge extra fees for primary and secondary grading examinations.

All medical information in this article including content, graphics and images, is for educational and informational objectives only. Discovery Health publishes this content to help to empower diabetes patients and their families by promoting a better understanding of a diabetes retinopathy.