Regular monitoring of blood glucose is a crucial tool in the life of a child with diabetes. It allows each individual to monitor and understand their body's very particular response to insulin, foods, and exercise. Unfortunately for many children and youth in developing countries, access to blood glucose meters and test strips is simply unaffordable.
During April and May, around 1,300 children and youth supported by IDF's Life for a Child programme (LFAC) received a blood glucose meter and access to 750 test strips (two test strips/day for a year). A gift that will change the way they are able to monitor their diabetes and care for their health.
LifeScan, Inc., an LFAC major contributor, donated the meters and one million strips required to LFAC-supported centres in Bangladesh, Guatemala, Guyana, Nepal, Mali, Zimbabwe, and Sri Lanka.
In Zimbabwe, members of the Zimbabwe Diabetic Association (ZDA) will travel an extraordinary 2,600 kilometres to distribute the meters and strips to underprivileged children in 10 provinces, as well as training children and their parents in how to use the meters. Officials from the Zimbabwean Ministry of Health are grateful for the level of support shown, and ZDA President, Mr Ngoni Chigwana, expressed: "From the bottom of our children's pancreases, they are really happy and praises are being shown where ever we visit. The meter is ideal for children, and the lancets are quite small so that you don't feel the prick. Thank you all”.
In the South American nation of Guyana, LFAC partners with the Chronic Disease Unit (CDU), in the Ministry of Health’s Department of Disease Control. Tricia Azaire from the CDU conveyed the Ministry’s "sincere gratitude for the support of supplies for the children with type 1 diabetes. This invaluable assistance will definitely ensure that the children have regular access to testing the blood glucose levels."
LFAC firstly extends a warm thank you to the management and employees of LifeScan, Inc, for their generous donation and ongoing support of the Programme. LFAC also acknowledges the contribution of Direct Relief International, whose expertise and professionalism ensured all shipments reached their destination safely.