Leicester nurse in ‘eye-opening’ Rwanda trip
A diabetes nurse from Leicester helped to provide free healthcare to more than 200 people during a trip to Rwanda.
Geri Gray, who is a Diabetes Specialist Nurse at the Leicester Diabetes Centre, which is based at Leicester General Hospital, supported people with type 2 diabetes or at risk of the condition during the week-long personal mission.
The main finding was how high the blood pressures were and in relatively young people aged in their 30s and 40s
Geri, who is also an educator for DESMOND, a national education programme for Type 2 diabetes based at the centre, said: “It was a really eye-opening experience. Many of the people struggle to access healthcare services due to financial reasons, there is a cost just to walk into a government health clinic.
“The main finding was how high the blood pressures were and in relatively young people aged in their 30s and 40s. There were a lot of people with high systolic readings meaning they were at risk of having a stroke.
“What we also realised through observations of cooking methods and descriptions of the local diet, was that salt was added to most dishes. Changes to this behaviour were encouraged during the group education sessions.”
Geri was one of five healthcare professionals, including retired nurse and friend Marje Niblock as well as church and government nurses.
They carried out finger prick tests and took blood pressure measurements at a health centre in a small town called Gikondo near the city of Kigali. People with concerning results were referred to local health services for further formal investigations.
Geri travelled out to the African country on Saturday, June 13, and returned on Monday, June 22.
The Leicester Diabetes Centre is an international centre of excellence in diabetes research, education and innovation. Hosted at Leicester General Hospital, it is a partnership between the University Hospitals of Leicester NHS Trust and the University of Leicester.