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Imagine not having a refrigerator to store insulin! In some countries, evaporative cooling using clay pots are an alternative to a refrigerator. No one really knew how efficient these alternatives were so Life for a Child conducted a study to find out.
The latest update of the IDF Life for a Child (LFAC) Programme is now available, including information on LFAC's work in Bolivia, Pakistan and the Democratic Republic of Congo.
The featured story is from Bolivia, where Katie Souris, a post-graduate student from the USA, recently visited the LFAC supported center in the country to look at the challenges facing young people with diabetes, and investigate the possibilities of peer support.
Darlenis is the only young person living with T1D on San Cristobal Island, in the Galapagos Archipelago, so has very little support regarding her diabetes management. Darlenis contacted our colleague, Aracely Basurto, from FUVIDA diabetes center in Ecuador, seeking advice.
Aracely says “Darlenis does not have test strips for glucose control, so every morning, noon and night she has to walk four blocks to the health center to check her blood glucose, returns home, and injects her insulin, prescribed by the doctor.”
These doses of insulin are fixed, and can only be changed by the doctor, so she must take the same dose which allows no flexibility for what she eats and the exercise she does.
On one occasion, Darlenis woke up feeling ill. Her father took her to the Health Centre, however, they had no test strips. Darlenis went home and drank some juice but felt no better so they had to travel to another island, Santa Cruz, two hours away.
There was some delay at the health center because a doctor had to order the blood glucose to be checked. By this time Darlenis’s father was frantic. Eventually she was allowed to check her blood glucose. A severe hypo was thankfully avoided.
This illustrates how the complex Darlenis’s situation is and the difficulties she and her family face. There are no specialist doctors which means that Darlenis must travel to Guayaquil in Ecuador for annual appointments. This is very expensive for the family.
The staff at FUVIDA have provided testing equipment from Life for a Child, and have taught Darlenis and her family food label reading so that she can adjust her insulin according to what she eats and her exercise. Acracely: “She learned that by making a proper count she can eat the food she wants and so far had been told
that it was forbidden.”
Aracely adds: ‘There are many cases like Darlenis. Children are exposed to a health system that does not accept them responsibly, and unfortunately, with this poor control, life is shortened and the chances of survival are reduced by half.’
You can help young people like Darlenis access the insulin and supplies they need by donating just $1 a day to the Life for a Child program. Donate now.
The IDF Life for a Child (LFAC) Programme encourages the diabetes centres in countries it supports to conduct camps or activity days for children and young people with diabetes.
To this end LFAC, in collaboration with the Diabetes Education and Camping Association (DECA), has developed Guidelines for conducting diabetes camp activities in a less-resourced country.
"Camp" is a term that includes not only overnight stays, but also activity days, support meetings, and get-togethers for children, adolescents and young adults with diabetes and their families.
This Valentine’s Day, the Spare a Rose Save a Child campaign will once again raise awareness and donations for the IDF Life for a Child Programme by encouraging people to buy one less rose and donate the value of that flower to children with diabetes.
In 2014, the International Diabetes Federation Life for a Child (LFAC) Programmes's largest donor - The Leona M and Harry B Helmsley Charitable Trust - commissioned the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine to conduct a comprehensive formal evaluation of the work of LFAC.
The work was conducted by a team lead by Professor Martin McKee and Dr. Sue Atkinson. Site visits were done in five countries: Rwanda, India, Jamaica, Mexico, and Philippines.
Eli Lilly and Company, a major contributor to the IDF Life for a Child Programme (LFAC), recently announced an additional commitment of 780,000 vials of insulin to LFAC.
Lilly’s new commitment builds on the company’s previous donation of 800,000 vials of insulin over the past six years, which reached more than 14,000 children in approximately 34 countries. Over the next three years, Lilly will donate approximately 260,000 vials of insulin each year to Life for a Child. This commitment will allow LFAC to continue providing treatment for children in the countries where the programme currently operates and to increase the amount of insulin supplied for distribution.
"Lilly's donation of insulin offers continued hope to children and families in need who are trying to manage type 1 diabetes in very challenging conditions," said Dr Graham Ogle, LFAC General Manager.
This Valentine’s Day, the Spare a Rose Save a Child campaign was once again a resounding success with over USD 24,000 raised for the IDF Life for a Child Programme (LFAC). Thanks to the 684 donations received, more than 400 children with diabetes in the developing world will be kept alive for one year.
As the end of 2014 nears, it is exciting to reflect that the IDF Life for a Child (LFAC) Programme has not only expanded support to six new countries but also increased the number of centres in countries already participating in the programme. Some 15,000 children and youth in 48 developing countries and the health professionals who care for them, are currently receiving a variety of resources free of charge from LFAC.
Boehringer Ingelheim, a partner of the International Diabetes Federation, continued its support for the International Diabetes Federation's Life for a Child (LFAC) Programme by organising a fundraising event in the lead up to World Diabetes Day (WDD) - 14 November. This is the sixth year they have supported this programme.
If you follow the IDF Life for a Child Programme on Facebook, you may already have read and been inspired by Veerle Vanhuyse. Veerle contacted LFAC in August, while training for the 2014 TCS New York City marathon, wanting to raise money for the Programme. A dedicated runner, Veerle was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes at the age of 16, and 27 years on intimately understands the challenges diabetes can present on a daily basis.