A ‘Parma Campaign’ for Africa – a 42,000 km initiative against ketoacidosis

In 2007, Diabetes Voice reported on a community awareness campaign to promote early recognition of the symptoms of type 1 diabetes in children and, above all, prevent the appearance of ketoacidosis. That initiative, based in Parma, Italy, was successful and at a relatively low cost, which led other groups to repeat the experience in in Europe, North America and Australia. But no-one had tried to set one up in a developing country – until the authors packed the necessary supplies into lorries and sent the campaign overland to 32 African countries. The arrival of the campaign caravan and activities sparked a great deal of interest and a degree surprise among the communities visited along the 42,000 km expedition. The experience reconfirms the authors’ conviction that every opportunity must be seized upon to raise awareness around the world of the simple steps that can be taken to prevent ketoacidosis – and that no child should die of diabetes, wherever he or she was born.