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People living with diabetes need support to understand their condition and how to live with it.

Why nurses make the difference

As the numbers of people with diabetes continue to rise across the world, the role of nurses and other healthcare professional support staff becomes increasingly important in managing the impact of the condition.

Nurses currently account for over half of the global health workforce. But, there still remains a significant need for more education, training and nurses. In fact, 6 million more nurses are needed worldwide.

Below are some testimonials on how South African nurses are making the difference in the fight against diabetes:

Sr Anandi Gouws

“During my high school years, my younger sister was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes. I think knowing very little what it meant, or the consequences thereof, inspired me to understand diabetes better.

As a Diabetes Nurse and Educator, I strive to listen to the concerns, struggles and doubts of my patients, and provide each patient with knowledge, guidance and support.

I strive to nurture and grow relationships with my diabetic patients to support and guide them in their personal battle with diabetes.”

Sr Annelise van Wyk

“It is very satisfying to be able to guide and support patients on their way with diabetes, irrespective of whether it was a newly diagnosed patient, or one who has been walking this path for a very long time.

The relationship between the entire care team and the patient must be very good to ensure optimal support.

The more knowledge patients gain about their own condition and take responsibility for themselves, the better the outcome of their treatment. For this reason, I believe that the role of DNEs’ is invaluable in a diabetes team.”

Sr Fiona Prins

“There is no doubt that diabetes specialist nurses make a difference in the management of people with diabetes. I can show you countless patients whose lives have been changed and health have been improved due to the interventions I have worked out with them.

There has to be a collaborative approach and goal setting. A good educator should be able to ‘read her patient’ as they come in and know where to begin and where to hold off and when to push.

I am proud and humbled of what I do and learn for people and patients every single day.”

Sr. Karen Kruger

“To be able to constantly facilitate the process of providing patients with the necessary skills, knowledge and strategies for behavioural change, self-care on all levels and diabetes self-management to ensure a better quality of life, is immensely rewarding.

The best results are seen when a patient takes responsibility for his/her own health by implementing the knowledge and skills acquired through education, consultations and follow-up visits. Diabetes education and management is a continuing process and an investment in life.”

Sr Tinini Ntloko

“To be a nurse is to be a selfless person.

You must be dedicated to this profession, because this profession is dealing with the lives of human beings. Therefore, you must love nursing with all your heart and soul.

My advice to anyone who wants to become a nurse, is that it should be a calling, because if it is a calling, you will do it with all your heart, whether overtime is paid or not paid.”

Samantha O’Connor – Diabetes Nurse Educator

“We, as educators, have learned that to become more patient-centred has made a significant difference in our diabetic patients’ lives, because it is a tailor-made approach.

Every educator can bring a unique perspective into their patients’ lives. Each patient is different in his or her own way – all have different needs. The importance of a topic may vary from person to person.”

Kavashnee Naidoo – Diabetes Educator

“Diabetes Educators makes a difference in patients with diabetes by means of psychosocial and behavioural approaches in their education. It is important to be a good listener and help the patient express their wishes and feel understood when engaging with you.”

Thank you to all of our nurses who are tirelessly dedicated to the fight against diabetes.

To see how you can help further make a difference, explore our page or go to

30 November 2020

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