William J. Mbangula Oshakati There is a need for the Oshakati-based Diabetes Association of Namibia (DAN) to expand its activities throughout the country since it is the only one that exists at the moment. This was said by the Control Social Worker in the Ministry of Health and Social Services (MHSS), Liza van Rhyn, on completion of her yearly inspection of the Association’s offices here recently. DAN, registered as a welfare organization in December 2005, has since acquired offices at Ongwediva and has been active by giving a series of public lectures about diabetes on both radio and in the print media. Van Rhyn told New Era that the Association is still in its infancy, and the main purpose of the visit was to ascertain whether or not it was focusing on its stated aims and objectives. “My impression is that it is an organization which was registered some time ago but became inactive because there is not much progress at the moment. As far as I am concerned, it is still a new organization, in its infancy, with the new management committee working very hard, very positively and trying to make a difference,” she noted. According to Van Rhyn who was accompanied by the Chief Social Worker, Helen Mouton, DAN is currently focusing its activities in the north as a priority, but there is a need to employ a broad-based approach which will focus on the entire country. Mayor of Oshakati, Engelbert Atshipara, said the Association needs a lot of nurturing to bring it to terms with the current needs of the people in the country. He lauded the activities of the members and implored private and public health practitioners, traditional and church leaders, the business community and members of the public to join hands in order to ensure that DAN is fully established in Namibia and to ensure that it takes its rightful place in the committee of nations in the International Diabetes Federation (IDF). DAN is coordinated by Dr Mathew Mojekwu, a general medical practitioner based in Oshakati. It is chaired by Chief Herman Iipumbu of the Uukwambi Traditional Authority. The Governor of Oshana, Clemens Kashuupulwa, serves as Interim Patron.
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