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Aditi, Divit and Faiyaz – India

The diagnosis of a child with diabetes can be scary and overwhelming for families anywhere in the world. Imagine having three children in one family, all diagnosed at a young age. This is what happened to a family in Indore, India.

Shivani, a diabetes educator and dietitian tells us, ‘’Divit being the eldest takes care of his both brother and sister. Not only does he puts his insulin and check sugar by himself, he does the same for both his brother and sister. We have given separate glucometers, strips and lancets to all the 3, and he takes well care to keep each one’s kit separately’’

They are a farming family on a very low income, so having three children places a considerable burden both financially and emotionally. This is where Life for a Child and The Radiance Clinic come in. We send diabetes supplies to the clinic where Dr. Sandeep and his team keep a close eye on the family.

Aditi is 10 years old,  Divit is 13 and Faiyaz 7, the photo above shows the family at the clinic receiving supplies in January 2016 and the photos below show them a year later, at the beginning of February. They are persevering with the constancy of diabetes and doing well.

You can help to support families like this one by participating in the Spare a Rose, Save a Child campaign.

 

Camping with Life for a Child

Conducting a camp or activity day can be very daunting for diabetes centers in less-resourced countries so we encourage all the centers we support to start small, think about doing a 2 hour support group and build from there. We give comprehensive guidance and support for the first activity, and offer a manual and ad-hoc advice for subsequent activities.

Just as in more economically resourced countries; the impact camp has on young people, cannot be underestimated:

“Then I went to camp – it was stunning.  Everyone had to test their glucose and take insulin. For the whole day everyone is the same. Each summer I became closer with other campers who are now some of my best friends.  I wasn’t alone, the feeling was beautiful”. Nweke, Nigeria

Nweke was 14 years old when he was first seen in the children’s emergency room in DKA 8 years ago. He was subsequently diagnosed with diabetes and supplied with insulin and strips by Life for a Child. He is now doing well and was one of the finalists in our Art competition held in 2015.

When Kate Souris, a masters of public health visited Bolivia and Life for a Child’s partner centre, El Centro Con Vivir, she reported that the education and resources provided at the diabetes centers and summer camps, ”are a relief to children and parents alike. As children learn to take more responsibility for their management and share with each other, seeing that they are not alone, parents may be able to let go of some of the fears that come from being a primary caretaker. Peers can educate and inspire among themselves, helping each other to take the condition more seriously, while providing the relief that can only come from being understood on a core level. I asked Camilla, a young girl supported by Life for a Child: “How is it to have friends at camp who have type 1 diabetes?”, she said; ”It’s a relief”’.

Make a donation and help us send more kids to camp.

Keeping insulin cool

Imagine not having a refrigerator to store insulin!  This is the situation for many young people living with diabetes. 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 in Khartoum, Sudan to find out. Thirteen devices were used in seven countries (10 clay pots, a goat skin, a vegetable gourd and a bucket filled with wet sand), and two identical commercially manufactured cooling wallets were compared.

All devices reduced storage temperatures, with some being more effective than others. More cooling is achieved at lower humidity. Further studies would help to determine insulin stability using alternatives to refrigerators.

Click here to read the abstract: “Insulin storage in hot climates without refrigeration: temperature reduction and efficacy of clay pots and other techniques

Contact: angiem@diabetesnsw.com.au for a copy of the publication.

Yasir’s Story

At age four, Yasir was rushed to hospital in Karachi, Pakistan where doctors realized he was in Diabetic Ketoacidosis. He was diagnosed with type 1 and, for the next few days stayed in hospital and, along with his parents, learned how to manage his diabetes.

 

Yasir’s family simply couldn’t afford the cost of the insulin and tools he would now need to live with this overwhelming change in his life.

 

Life for a Child was able to step in and supply him with a blood glucose meter, and a regular supply of insulin and test strips. Life for a Child also ensures Yasir is seen every three months to check growth and development and receive diabetes education.

 

Without support from Life for a Child, it is likely that Yasir would not have survived far beyond his diagnosis. You can support children like Yasir by donating to the Spare a Rose campaign here.

Ecuador camp

What a group! At the recent Fundacion Diabetes Juvenil Ecuador annual camp, young people of all ages living with diabetes came together to make friends and have fun. Activities at camp are age appropriate and there are loads of opportunities for incidental diabetes education.

Here you can see Miguel learning about carb counting and healthy food choices and team games with the girls.

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Tajikistan Carb counting

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One of the centers we support in Tajikistan recently conducted a carbohydrate counting workshop for young people living with diabetes. The kids will learn more on this topic in the second edition of the manual in the local language – Tajik.