Roche Diabetes Care’s NOD Programme Elevates Nurses’ Role in Diabetes Care


Despite nursing’s vital role in healthcare service delivery, it often does not get its due credit and acknowledgment. International Nurses Day is commemorated to remind the world of the value nurses bring to the healthcare system and to recognise their greater social and economic impact.


The official theme for International Nurses’ Day in 2024, “Our Nurses. Our Future,” specifically highlights the economic power of care, and for diabetes solutions companies like Roche Diabetes Care (RDC), the contribution nurses make to patients is undeniable, particularly in Africa – a continent characterised by socioeconomic inequalities in access to care for patients.


In this context, RDC has launched the “ Nurses on Diabetes” (NOD) online course to help address the gaps. In Africa, where healthcare resources are limited, nurses are the front line for patients managing diabetes.


The Roche NOD online course is geared at overcoming barriers to healthcare education to bolster healthcare’s first line of defense. The programme goes beyond clinical education, incorporating coaching elements to promote a holistic approach to diabetes management.


Beth Wangui Kairu, Registered Nurse, Diabetes Nurse educator, at Aga Khan University Hospital Nairobi, Kenya says, “NOD has enabled our nurses to share vital, up-to-date knowledge and skillsets on diabetes and diabetes management with patients, and educated advice based on the knowledge the nurses have accumulated from analysing each case.


“At the clinic waiting bay, the nurses offer health talks on key topics in the management of diabetes – for example, diet, exercise, and how to monitor sugars and sugar checks at home. Our nurses are now confident because they have upgraded or have in-depth knowledge on managing patients with diabetes.”


“Through this programme, nurses are able to recognise the needs, weaknesses, and gaps of their clients when they visit the clinic and provide appropriate education to ensure that the clients have good glycemic control on their subsequent visits. Additionally, the clients are able to recognise and value the services provided by the clinic. When a client needs close follow-up, the nurse follows up with them on a regular basis and gives them hotline numbers to call in case they have any questions; this way, they are taken care of without their needing to visit the clinic”. added Beth Wangui Kairu


Currently operational in South Africa, Nigeria, Kenya and India, the NOD programme successfully embodies the Roche commitment to empower nurses. According to Roche representatives, upskilling nurses will be instrumental in addressing widespread barriers to care.


These nurses connect with local communities and also empower them through education, potentially yielding significant societal and health-economic benefits. Significantly, the NOD course also offers comprehensive education and coaching elements for holistic diabetes management.


Beth Wangui Kairu, explains some of NOD’s impact to date: “NOD provided additional knowledge and skills that vastly increased the nurses’ confidence in handling diabetic patients holistically – from diagnosis right through to when the patient has been stabilised and then in discussing how patients can manage themselves.


“Proper education trickles down to more effective glycemic control from the patient perspective, which is evident when next they come to visit and appreciate what the clinic is doing for them.”


“Nursing training solutions are for everyone, as they have far-reaching benefits – to patients, the economy, and society at large,” says Susan Snell, Area Head IMEA 3, Roche Diabetes Care


“This complements Roche Diabetes Care’s commitment to improving access to care by supporting all aspects of care including education. Notably, concurrently investing in nurse education benefits individual patients that helps them understand their diabetes better, bring changes in their behavior and take charge of their diabetes management.”


On International Nurses’ Day, Roche Diabetes Care urges stakeholders, including governments, healthcare organisations, and philanthropic entities, to recognise the importance of investing in nurse education and to support initiatives like NOD to improve diabetes care across Africa.

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