Most people, when they think of Africa, think of malnutrition and infectious diseases like HIV. In 2007 however the World Diabetes Foundation released a statement at the Diabetes Summit in Kenya with the dire warning that in Sub-Saharan Africa; “What HIV/Aids was in the last 20 years of the 20th Century, cardiovascular disease, diabetes and its consequences will be in the first 20 years of this century.” Soon after that announcement a team of UMass Boston students and faculty arrived in Kenya to begin the collaboration now known as Kenya Heart and Sole: the Afya Njema Project.
The Afya Njema or “Good Health Project” is devoted to addressing the emerging crisis of cardiovascular and metabolic diseases in sub- Saharan Africa. Over the past three years our UMass Boston teams, in collaboration with our Kenyan partners, have provided health screening and treatment for over 2,000 individuals. UMass Boston students and clinicians worked side by side with Kenyan nursing students and clinicians to screen and treat villagers for cardiovascular and metabolic problems; uncovering extremely high rates of undiagnosed, untreated hypertension and diabetes. In addition to the medical camps, we have gathered valuable information about the development of these medical conditions; information that helps us to better understand these diseases from a global perspective.
To learn more about Kenya Heart and Sole and to read student journals about their experience and ongoing work visit our website.
Posted: January 29, 2013 under The Project.