Welcome to our 100th issue of Diabetes Focus

Dear members and friends,

We are celebrating our 100thissue of Diabetes Focus! As I look back over the 99 issues before this one, I am amazed at how the magazine has covered so many topics and interesting articles over the years.

We owe our thanks to the many people who have contributed articles and the editors who have done a wonderful job of putting each issue together.

In this 2020 autumn issue, we bring you information on COVID-19Social distancing and exercise; how to Make your medical aid work for you and Why breakfast is important.

In addition, we learn How much water we should be drinking and, importantly, Helping your child deal with stress, as well as an update on Sugar Tax.

I hope you are all keeping safe and well during this period of lockdown for COVID-19. Whilst it is challenging and scary, we can find the silver lining in this time. Spending time with family, re-connecting with friends online, and getting those chores done that we never have time for, are some of the things that come to mind.

I would also like to pay tribute to our doctors, specialists and nurses who are always there when we have health challenges and go the extra mile in times like these.

Diabetes helpline during COVID-19

Diabetes South Africa’s offices will be closed during the lockdown period and since people living with diabetes are at higher risk of complications if they get ill with COVID-19, we want to help you keep your diabetes in balance and on your current diabetes management plan.  

Therefore, Diabetes South Africa and the South African NCDs Alliance offer you free support in the current crisis. Starting on Friday, 3 April, our support service is live.

How it works: WhatsApp 081 578 6636 or send an email to diabeteshelp@sancda.org.za

You message us, and we call back or reply between 08:00 and 17:00. Leave a voice or WhatsApp message in English or Afrikaans. Tell us your name, cell number or email and a few words about your diabetes challenge and we will get back to you. 

Please do not use the diabetes helpline in the case of emergencies or if you experience a sudden worsening of your health or suspected COVID-19. Rather call an ambulance, go straight to your nearest hospital or follow government instructions.  

 Keep safe and stay indoors.

Yours in Health

Margot McCumisky
National Manager – Diabetes South Africa


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Thank you to the late Rupert Leuner for your vision of Diabetes Focus 100 issues ago!

Word for Word Media (WFWM) would like to congratulate Diabetes South Africa for celebrating 50 years as an NGO in the country, with the longest history of publishing in the diabetes arena.

WFWM have been publishing Diabetes Focus for the past five and a half years. It is indeed a privilege to be the publisher of such an established brand. The team applaud the contributors for their involvement, and the advertisers who support it.

The content is relevant and simply written. With statistics of 1045 796 impressions in 2019, it is evident that the content is reaching the right audience and making a difference.

The strong Diabetes Focus brand is top of mind, recalled, googled and found by search engines. New readers and others are brought back to the website, newsletter and social media platforms after each newsletter is sent out.

Additional benefits of online is the reach offered beyond boundaries and the ability for flexible content, changes can be made to stay current.

The reality with online is that that the proof is in the sugar-free pudding. You can track everything to give publishers as well as advertisers insight into the reader engagement, and this only makes real content that is demanded and vital to our audience.

With the legacy that Rupert Leuner started, WFWM continues, publishing four online issues a year. It is with much pride we bring you this #100 issue!


Share mySugr reports with your healthcare professional

Roche Diabetes Care is pleased to offer you free access to the mySugr Pro app during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. Roche Diabetes Care is offering

Fabulite™ Vegetable Curry

A vegetable curry that’s quick and easy. Ingredients 1 cup cooked basmati rice 2 cups cooked chickpeas 2 cups vegetable stock 1 tspn curry powder


Des Davey – A change in medication has given me better health

Des Davey shares his story of how a change in medication, due to changing from private to public healthcare, has improved his management of his

Elizabeth Gunther – Surfing the waves of diabetes

Elizabeth Gunther talks about living with Type 1 diabetes, her kombucha business, Tea of Life, and her love for surfing and her dogs. Elizabeth Gunther


20th Annual Al Bawasil Children’s Diabetes Camp

Sister Barbara Chinyerere and her son, Joshua (9), who has Type 1 diabetes give feedback after attending the 20th Annual Al Bawasil Children’s Diabetes Camp, in

How to help children deal with diabetes-related stress

Daniel Sher suggests four psychologically-informed strategies to help children cope with diabetes-related stress. As a parent of a child with diabetes, it is fair to


COVID-19 and diabetes

Andrew JM Boulton, President of International Diabetes Federation, informs us of IDF’s current position on the developing pandemic of the COVID-19 virus. These are indeed

The flu vaccine – frequently asked questions

We get all your frequently asked questions regarding the flu vaccine answered by Abbott Laboratories. Flu vaccine Seasonal changes are upon us, and so is

Why you need to see an optometrist if you have diabetes

Geline Mare outlines the importance of annual optometrist consults if you have diabetes. If you are newly diagnosed with diabetes, welcome. Take a deep breath.

2025 WHO obesity targets

The World Obesity Federation updates us on how countries are doing to meet the 2025 WHO obesity targets. Sadly, it doesn’t look good. World Obesity

DSA News Autumn 2020

DSA Western Cape news Kayamandi Diabetes Community Wellness Group The DSA Western Cape branch visited the Kayamandi Diabetes Community Wellness Group in Stellenbosch on 17 March. This

Testing of side effects reporting tool

As part of a research study, a testing of side effects reporting tool to report side effects has been developed. Before this tool can be

Sugar Tax: An update – where are we at currently?

ADSA spokesperson, Mari Pronk, updates us on the current standing of Sugar Tax. The obesity epidemic South Africa is facing a severe and growing obesity

Tribute to the late Rupert Leuner

Noy Pullen remembers Rupert Leuner (21 March 1930 – 2 December 2019), who played an integral role in growing Diabetes South Africa and started Diabetes

The RetinaRisk app

We learn how the RetinaRisk app eliminates diabetic blindness through empowerment and predictive analytics. The RetinaRisk app is a unique and novel tool that empowers

PCOS and insulin resistance – the link

Dr Carmen James educates us on the often heart-breaking mutually destructive relationship between insulin resistance and polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS)1. Understanding insulin resistance Prediabetes is a


Breakfast: making the most of your day

Registered dietitian, Raeesa Seedat, educates us on why our choice of breakfast is so important. Importance of breakfast Breakfast is an important part of the

Social distancing and exercise

Saadia Kirsten Jantjes shares helpful tips to keep you and your family active during this period of social distancing. With social distancing and self-isolation becoming

Meaningful monitoring with the Accu-Chek® Testing in Pairs

We learn how to monitor blood glucose levels with purpose with the Accu-Chek® Testing in Pairs. Whether you are newly diagnosed or have been living

Feeling, family and feasting

Everything we do is intertwined with all things surrounding family, especially feasting. This can leave us feeling utterly satiated, or sometimes utterly guilty. All aspects

Meet JEFF: the fitness friend we all deserve

In a world saturated by health gimmicks, miracle eating plans, and fitness fads, there is finally something that takes its clients’ goals as seriously as

Water – the best things in life are free

Lila Bruk advocates that water should be your essential tonic for optimum health. Over 70% of the body is made up of water, and water


Make your medical aid work for you

Sarah Nicholson, Justmoney’s commercial manager, offers ten tips to help ensure you enjoy the medical aid scheme benefits to which you're entitled. Extremely high medical

Why experts recommend urea for the treatment of dry skin

According to medical experts, urea, an organic compound, is the gold standard treatment for dry skin. We learn why this is so. When it comes

Diabetes complications – your screening check list

Diabetes nurse educator, Christine Manga, explains why screening for diabetes complications should form part of your diabetes healthcare plan. Screening for diabetes complications Diabetes is

Medical resolutions and planning for the next decade

Dr Louise Johnson updates us on the latest changes in the diabetes arena to help you plan your medical resolutions for the next decade. The


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