Diabetic Ketoacidosis (DKA) occurs when there is profound insulin deficiency. It frequently occurs at diagnosis, and also in children and young people with diabetes, if insulin is omitted, or if insufficient insulin is given at times of acute illness.
It is quite likely that some children and youth in developing countries, presenting for the first time in DKA, die undiagnosed. The symptoms they present with may be diagnosed as more common illnesses such as pneumonia, gastroenteritis, malaria or typhoid. Even when the correct diagnosis is made, it is sometimes too late, and the young person can die or suffer permanent damage.
To combat this the Life for a Child Program developed a poster campaign, depicting symptoms of DKA, to alert health professionals and help them to make a swift diagnosis and provide appropriate treatment to save lives – championing the vision that no child should die of diabetes. Health professionals are the key target audience for this campaign with posters put up in common areas such as hospitals and community centres.
One of these posters is in Twi and Dagbanli, local languages of Ghana, who also participated in this campaign. The importance of the message is illustrated by this comment from a doctor in Kumasi, Ghana: “Several of these children with diabetes are dying unrecognized. It is only education to create awareness that will save many of these children.”
Dr Graham Ogle recently visited a centre we support in Haiti, where we have been providing support for young people with diabetes since 2010. Below are some of the diabetes education materials depicting symptoms of diabetes, hypoglycaemia and others in the local languages, Creole and French.
You can see all 28 posters developed by LFAC since 2012 here: www.idf.org/lifeforachild/education-resources/dka-awareness
Help us increase awareness of DKA by making a donation today.