In 2012 the IDF Life for a Child Programme (LFAC) launched an ongoing campaign targeting diabetic ketoacidosis (DKA), a severe medical complication that occurs primarily in people with type 1 diabetes. Among the diabetes community, it had been recognised for many years that misdiagnosis occured in developing countries. This is due in part to symptoms and clinical findings resembling more common illnesses such as pneumonia, gastroenteritis or malaria. The tragic result is children and youth often die undiagnosed or correct diagnosis comes too late.
In May, Fundación Diabetes Juvenil del Ecuador (FDJE) became the 18th centre to participate in Life for a Child's Diabetes Ketoacidosis Awareness Campaign. Based in Quito, Ecuador's capital, FDJE has been working with Life for a Child since 2010. The Programme is currently supporting close to 30 young people with diabetes.
FDJE representative Mercedes Lopez explained their reasons for participating: "As this campaign is vital to help people with diabetes to be identified and treated in time, it seemed very important to disseminate the [campaign] posters in health clinics throughout the country where we have previously identified cases of children with type 1 diabetes."
The association began their campaign in Manabi and Sta Elena provinces and then travelled to the cities of Manta, Portoviejo, Manglar Alto, and surrounding areas. They visited public and private hospitals and health centers, where they requested permission to place the posters in emergency rooms and areas frequented by both physicians and patients so that they could read and confirm the symptoms and signs for a quick diagnosis. Posters were also given to parents attending outreach programmes organised by the association, for sharing with their town health centers.
In total, over 18 hospitals/clinics received a visit and posters from FDJE. Life for a Child congratulates them and all the centres who have contributed to the campaign's success thus far.
All available posters can be accessed on the Life for a Child's DKA Awareness Campaign page.