PRESS RELEASE / ANNOUNCEMENTS Monday, January 11, 2016

Local diabetes research center convenes to address life threatening disease in Africa

SANTA BARBARA, CALIF.—December 22, 2015— Before a standing room-only audience, the William Sansum Diabetes Center held a reception to honor distinguished Endocrinologist and Humanitarian, Ahmed Reja, M.D as he presented on the disproportionate burden of the disease in Africa and around the world.
On Thursday, December 17th, Dr. Reja presented to Cottage Hospitals’ Grand Rounds and again at the reception on the epidemic of diabetes in Ethiopia and Africa. “If diabetes were a country, it would be the third most populated country after China and India,” stated Dr. Reja. According to the International Diabetes Federation, currently there are 450 million people living with diabetes worldwide, and if nothing is done to prevent and control diabetes, this number will rise to 644 million by 2040. “Diabetes has a higher mortality rate than HIV/AIDS, TB, and Malaria combined, so diabetes is a very serious disease in Africa”, added Dr. Reja.
Ellen Goodstein, Esq., Executive Director of William Sansum Diabetes Center, learned about the work of Dr. Reja as he is the brother of Montecito restaurant owner, Mollie Ahlstrand, of Trattoria Mollie. Trattoria Mollie generously catered the event at the William Sansum Diabetes Center in Santa Barbara. “It was a pleasure to welcome Dr. Reja and gain a greater understanding of the challenges of treating people with diabetes in Ethiopia and other parts of Africa, particularly the unfortunate shortages of insulin. In collaboration with the incredible team at Direct Relief International, we hope to help address this life threatening crisis,” added Ellen Goodstein, Esq.
Dr. Reja has practiced medicine for 30 years in major hospitals in Ethiopia & and the United Kingdom to help those with diabetes. Dr. Reja is one of five Endocrinologist in all of Ethiopia serving 90 million people impacted by diabetes. He has 18 years of medical teaching experience, 15 years of leading the largest patient organization- Ethiopian Diabetes Association, and He is also Chair Elect of the International Diabetes Federation, Africa Region.
William Sansum Diabetes Center is dedicated to the prevention, treatment and cure of diabetes. Our singular focus is to improve the health and quality of life of men, women and children in Santa Barbara County - and millions around the world - who suffer from diabetes. We have been on the cutting edge of diabetes research, clinical care, and education since our founding in 1944 by Dr. William Sansum, the first U.S. physician to administer insulin in the treatment of diabetes.

William Sansum Diabetes Center has an established world reputation in the field of diabetes and pregnancy and artificial pancreas, which enables patients to have automated glucose control. Until protocols were developed here, women with diabetes were told they could not bear children. Now, thanks to our groundbreaking work, women with diabetes can deliver healthy babies.

WSDC offers diabetes and nutrition education to Santa Barbara residents with or at risk for the disease. We also provide direct clinical care to patients including pediatrics and women with diabetes during pregnancy.

We are continually committed to improving the lives of people impacted by diabetes with the hopes of a cure.


Jessica Lehner
805.682.7640 X 246

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