DSA News – Autumn 2022

DSA welcomes new board members

We get to know the two new DSA National Board Members, Salih Hendricks and Wesley Mc Aslin,who were elected at the DSA National AGM held on 14 December 2021.

Salih HendricksSalih Hendricks

Salih Henricks (55) lives in Crawford, Cape Town. He is separated and has five children. He has had Type 1 diabetes for 40 years and been a diabetic amputee for two years.

How do you feel about this appointment?

I’m happy to be part of this organisation and hope to be of value for DSA and the diabetes community.

What do you aim to achieve?

What I want to get into action is raising awareness on the less costly medications that are given to diabetes patients in the public sector. These medications aren’t working for many patients. Treatment needs to be put together as a package deal with extra management and added components to make these meds work.

No matter what type of medication you take, a good mindset and exercise help the medication work better. I want to ensure all people with diabetes don’t give up.

What are your responsibilities?

The community

In your opinion, how does the care for diabetes need to change or improve in SA?

There is no need for improvement but more involvement from communities and sharing their experience. We learn from each other better than from any book.

What does balance mean to you?

Nothing is perfect in this world therefore giving, caring, supporting , mental health and many more positives could help us balance our lives better. Just by trying, we can balance everything.

Wesley Mc Aslin

Wesley Mc Aslin (43) lives in Kempton Park, Gauteng. He is married and has two children. He has Type 1 diabetes.

How do you feel about this appointment?

I’m excited in that I believe I can make a difference to someone’s life by hopefully inspiring people with diabetes to push themselves and their limits and not to let diabetes rule their lives.

What do you aim to achieve?

Enlighten people about diabetes and eliminate any misconceptions

What are your responsibilities?

My responsibilities have not been completely defined as yet but I want people living with diabetes to know that they need to look after their health and they shouldn’t cheat as in the end it only does harm.

In your opinion, how does the care for diabetes need to change or improve in SA?

Better understanding and better education in all sectors about living with diabetes and the emotional toll it takes on people living with diabetes and their immediate family members.

What does balance mean to you?

Healthy living and been able to manage your diabetes efficiently without it encumbering your ambitions and goals in life.

Western Cape Camp Diabetable

With the kind sponsorship of EPT recovery, DSA is holding Camp Diabeteable on 22 to 24 April 2022.

Benefits of diabetes camps

Diabetes South Africa has been holding camps for children with diabetes for well over 40 years. These camps are designed to facilitate a camp experience in a medically safe environment, while fostering opportunities for children to develop basic diabetes self-management skills.

These type of camps also provides opportunities for children with diabetes to forge sustainable relationships, overcome feelings of isolation, and gain self-confidence and a positive attitude to living with a lifelong chronic disease which has to be managed hour by hour.


According to three years of pre and post surveys, diabetes camps positively impact a wide-range of camper outcomes, including knowledge of diabetes management, management behaviours, and emotional well-being.

Doctors have reported to us that the positive benefits of our camps for children with diabetes are seen in their young patients for many months post camp. Newly diagnosed campers appear to benefit the most from their camp experience.  The encouragement and support the children receive often leads to them giving themselves their first insulin injection on their own. Campers usually ask on leaving the camp when the next one will be.

Some our past campers have joined our DSA Camp Management Team as young adults to pay forward the positive experience they had when attending our camps as children.

The theme of the camp is: The elements – earth, wind, fire, water.

To join the camp email [email protected]

– DSA Port Elizabeth News –

Springdale Diabetes Wellness Group

What an amazing caring group this is. The convenor of this group is Clive Burke who is a management board member of the DSA PE branch.

This group was previously called Gelvandale Diabetes Wellness group and was started in 2008 by Hester Isaacs, ably supported by her husband, Esau, and daughters, Sadie and Terry.

In April 2018, at the 100th meeting organised by Hester, she handed over the reins to Clive Burke who had been an active and supportive member for many years.

Clive with his wonderful caring and compassionate nature has led this group since then and through the tough lockdown years, has still cared for each member in his own quiet and sincere way. We see this in his written word below:

In 2018, I took over from the late Hester Isaacs, who ably led the group since its inception in 2008. We have members from a wide spectrum in our area. Quite a lot of Muslim support as well. Our aim is to educate and support people living with diabetes. We have become a close group and we encourage each other to introduce other people living with diabetes to our meeting. I have found that they are very caring towards each other.

One of our members lost her husband recently and the group felt we should just lift her spirit a little bit and we decided to give her with a bouquet of flowers. This was handed to her close friend at the February meeting to take to her. This was indeed a WOW moment for her and much appreciated.

We do treasure each other’s company and share our sorrows and joys. May our group make a great impact in our society where we live, as we support and care for each other. We are about 15 to 20 members in regular attendance.

Denim For Diabetes

Megan Soanes, DSA Port Elizabeth’s fundraising co-ordinator, has already organised two Denim for Diabetes days. One at St George’s Prep School and one at the Provincial Hospital Outpatients Pharmacy. Both were held on Valentine’s Day.

Wellness meetings

Our Diabetes Wellness Groups in Newton Park, Malabar and Springdale held their meetings in February. This was an exciting step forward for the Malabar and Springdale groups as this was the first time they met since the start of lockdown.

Each group presented a topic relating to COVID and diabetes. At the Newton Park meeting, Renique Verhoef, dietitian, spoke about Leaving the Weight of COVID Behind. Dr Jeff Govender presented an interesting talk on COVID vs diabete at the Malabar meeting. While Stories of COVID-19 were told and shared by the members at the Springdale meeting.

Join Camp Diabetable 18-20 March 2022!

– DSA Pretoria News –

Wellness Day

As we are well aware, last year (2021) was not the best time in most lives. It was also not a good time for DSA Pretoria. Due to lock down we were unable to meet together for most of the year. We were also unable to do what we need to do and that is to inform people about diabetes, by means of holding wellness days at companies and doing testing, as well as free testing ay shopping malls.

So, we are thrilled to have hosted our first Wellness Day at x on 26 February.

DSA members interviewed on TV show

In December, DSA Pretoria was approached by SABC 2 asking for people with Type 1 and Type 2  diabetes to be interviewed their TV program, Vital Signs.

Frans Steenkamp (Type 1) and Brian Midlane (Type 2) were the two representatives chosen from the Pretoria branch. They shared their experience of living with diabetes. Both men had very interesting stories to tell.

At the end of the broadcast, National Chairman, Martin Prinsloo, was able to publicise the purpose of Diabetes SA. All in all a good experience was had by all and we are hoping that the message went out loud and clear.