DSA represents Southern Africa Region

Margot Mc Cumisky was elected Vice President of Southern Africa Region, International Diabetes Federation. She tells us how this came about at the 2022 IDF World Diabetes Congress held in Lisbon, Portugal in December.


Diabetes South Africa (DSA) has been a member of the International Diabetes Federation (IDF), based in Belgium, for many years.

Every two years the IDF organises a World Diabetes Congress to which each member country is invited. Margot Mc Cumisky, DSA National Manager, was delegated to attend the IDF World Diabetes Congress 2022 held in Lisbon, Portugal. Lisbon is a beautiful city and Portugal is a lovely country that welcomed all the delegated representing diabetes organisations around the world.

The IDF World Diabetes Congress 2022 was attended by over 4 000 delegates from around the globe, consisting of professors, scientists, doctors and other health professionals, as well as patient organisations like DSA.

It was so interesting to hear the latest information on medication, diabetes devices, treatments and learn from other diabetes organisations and their activities.

Each part of the world is divided into regions and on the first day of the congress each region holds their regional congress. DSA falls under the IDF Africa Region and so all the representatives from all the countries in Africa held their annual regional congress.

At this regional congress, challenges, access to medication, patient outreach and reports on each country and member associations are discussed and many successful projects are adapted as we all learn from each other.

IDF Africa new incumbents

During the regional congress, voting takes place on the new incumbents, for the President of IDF Africa Region, and the President-elect who will take over from the President after two years.

President of Africa Region is Professor Jacko Abodo (Ivory Coast).

President-elect is Sister Elizabeth Denyoh (Ghana).

IDF Africa is divided into four regions: East, West, Central and Southern Africa. The voting then proceeds for the Vice President of each of these four regions. The results of these elections were as follows:

Vice Presidents for regions

Western Africa Region – Dr Ibrahim Nientao (Mali).

Eastern Africa Region –Dr Murthy Pillay (Seychelles).

Central African Region – Dr Davidson Nkwenti (Cameroon)

Southern Africa Region – Margot Mc Cumisky (South Africa)

The Southern Africa Region consists of:

  • Angola
  • Botswana
  • Lesotho
  • Malawi
  • Mozambique
  • Namibia
  • South Africa
  • Eswatini
  • Zambia
  • Zimbabwe
  • Madagascar

Focus and action plan for Africa region

The focus and action plan for the next two years will be:

  • To strengthen existing associations and assist with developing new diabetes associations in countries where there are none.
  • To create a network of health professionals specialising in diabetes in each country, both in public and private sectors for patients to have access to expert treatment.
  • To develop a Diabetes Registry – the first stage will be done in 2023 in French-speaking countries in Africa; followed by English-speaking countries in Africa in 2024.
  • To update and implement guidelines for Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes.
  • Training of peer educators.

Follow-up conference

A follow-up conference was held in Ivory Coast in February 2023 where the implementation of the action plan was discussed, and planning commenced.

Should any of our members have contacts in the Southern African countries with an interest in diabetes, your assistance would be greatly appreciated.


Contact: Margot Mc Cumisky Email: [email protected] 

Cell:  072 345 0086

Did you know?

In 2006 the World Diabetes Congress was hosted in Cape Town and DSA was part of the local organising committee. This congress was attended by 14 000 delegates from around the world and was an exciting time as it was the first World Diabetes Congress to be held in Africa. We did ourselves proud and many people still talk about how well-organised it was and how much they enjoyed attending.