Diakité Fousseny

Diabetes has taught me that nothing is more valuable than personal responsibility.

How long have you been living with diabetes?

I have been living with type 1 diabetes since 2006.

How were you diagnosed?

I was 9 years old when I was diagnosed. I was urinating a lot, losing weight and feeling very thirsty. When my mother noticed that my urine attracted ants while my cousin's didn't, she took me to the National Diabetes Center where I was diagnosed.

Did your diagnosis come as a surprise to you?

I didn't feel any emotion. I was 9 years old and didn't know what diabetes was.

How did your diagnosis affect your family or loved ones?

They were surprised. My mother cried for a long time when she was given the news. She thought that my life was over.

What are the most important things that have supported your diabetes care?

Education and the support that I received from the Life for a Child programme, through the NGO Santé diabète and the National Diabetes Center. They provided me with the insulin, monitoring equipment and supplies that I needed.

For the last six years, I've been working as a health professional doing research in diabetes. This has helped me manage my condition a lot.

What has living with diabetes taught you the most?

Diabetes has taught me that nothing is more valuable than personal responsibility.

What has been your lowest point with diabetes?

My lowest point came when I had to slow down the progression of my studies due to the condition.

Have you ever experienced issues accessing diabetes medicines, supplies and care?

Yes, but much less in recent months.

What would you like to see change in diabetes over the next 100 years?

An end to stigma, discrimination and misinformation that affects people with diabetes.

What do you think needs to change to improve the lives of people living with diabetes in your country?

Diabetes care should be fully covered by the government. There should be regular studies conducted to assess the diabetes situation in the country as well as educational camps for people affected by the condition.

What does the centenary of insulin mean to you?

I will always be grateful for a discovery that has saved so many lives.

The Insulin at 100 campaign is supported by