Kamuzu Central Hospital's Medical Dept. received funding from the World Diabetes Foundation to implement a peer support program to improve patient knowledge and self-management of diabetes in the central region of Malawi. The project was funded in 2012 and officially started August, 2013. Sister Olive Kadzakumanja has organized patient education at KCH since 2011 and formed the peer support groups even before funding was initiated in collaboration with the Diabetes Association of Malawi.

  1. Increase diabetes knowledge and self-management among patient enrolled at the diabetes clinic at KCH
  2. Develop peer support groups for patients with diabetes
  3. Establish linkages between patient, peer supporters and health care providers

Intended project results:
  1. Weekly diabetes education with focus on self-care and social support for 1000 patients
  2. Develop empowerment based group medical visit for 100 patients
  3. Recruit and train 20 peer supporters from the central region
  4. Train these 20 peer supporters to do foot exam and foot care education in the community
  5. Establish peer support groups in the community and communication linkage to health centers and KCH clinicians

Peer support training curriculum:

  1. General diabetes information: blood sugar, A1C, BP, cholesterol control; complications of DM
  2. Self-Care Behaviors: healthy eating, being active, taking medication, problem solving, reducing risks, healthy coping, blood sugar monitoring
  3. Support skills: teaching and facilitation, communication, counseling skills and ethical considerations (confidentiality, respecting others' rights); assessment, goal setting, action planning
  4. Strengthening linkages to care: patient-provider communication, health coaching, linking to community resources
  5. Foot exam
    1. annual foot exam form
  6. Resources
    1. Peers for Progress training resources http://peersforprogress.org/tools-training/access-resources
    2. Peers for Progress Mityana District Hospital Diabetes Care team training booklet
    3. A diabetes Peer Support Group Guide for the Black Caribbean Community
    4. Legs to Stand On http://legstostandon.org/information-center/
    5. International Working Group on the Diabetic Foot’s Diabetic Foot Care Education Programme for the training of certified Diabetic Foot Care Assistants (IDF)
    6. Diabetes Africa Foot Initiative (DAFI)
    7. Diabetes International Curriculum for Diabetes Professional Education (IDF, 2008)
    8. WDF’s Step-by-step foot care for people with diabetes
    9. ADA’s Comprehensive Foot Examination and Risk Assessment (2008)
    10. Diabetic Living’s How to Give yourself a Diabetic Foot Exam
    11. Diabetes in Malawi (Cohen, 2010)
    12. IHI's self-management support tookit http://www.ihi.org/knowledge/Pages/Tools/SelfManagementToolkitforClinicians.aspx
    13. Diabetic Foot review article (Rheeder, 2004) University of Pretoria
    14. Lilly’s patient education

Culturally appropriate written patient education materials in Chichewa and English:

Progress Report:

Project supporters and advisors:
Dr. Theresa Allain (CoM)
Jean Roemer, CRNP (Children's Hospital Pittsburgh) has organized donations of glucometers, strips, insulin and other medications for KCH and QECH!
Master Chisale
Dr. Maono Ngwira
Dr. M. Mlenga
Chawanangwa Chirambo
Mary Joe Geyer (Legs To Stand On)
Dr. Alfred Maluwa (KCN) will assist with project evaluation

If you would like to support the Lilongwe Diabetes Peer Support Project, please contact T. Bui

Additional documents:

Update August, 2015: Over 100 peer supporters came to KCH to give a report on their group activities. Most groups are active in providing health education, social support, BS and BP testings. Challenges include lack of transportation to KCH and poor access to medications at the health centers.

Pictures of peer support activities:
DM peer support 1.jpgDM peer support2.jpg
photo DM support aug 2015.jpg