The Programme

The IDF Life for a Child Programme is currently helping over 18,000 CHILDREN AND YOUTH WITH DIABETES IN 46 COUNTRIES.

The IDF Diabetes Atlas (Sixth Edition, 2013) estimates that there are over 497,000 children under 15 years with type 1 diabetes. There is probably a similar number of youth with diabetes aged 15-25. However, the estimates for numbers of children and youth in many developing countries are very incertain due to lack of data. Additionally type 2 diabetes is on the increase in children and adolescents in all countries irrespective of socio-economic status. It is estimated that 80-100,000 children and youth around the world are in urgent need of assistance.

It is estimated that there are approximately 542,000 children under the age of 15 years with type 1 diabetes worldwide. 86,000 new cases are diagnosed each year and numbers are rising between 3-5% per year (IDF Atlas 7th Ed., Brussels 2015).  In less-resourced countries, many children quickly die from mis-diagnosis or lack of insulin and of experienced medical care. Blood glucose monitoring and diabetes education are often not available.  For those who survive, early and serious complications frequently lead to death in young adulthood.

The International Diabetes Federation "Life for a Child" Programme was established in 2000 with support from Diabetes NSW (formerly Australian Diabetes Council) and HOPE worldwide. It is an innovative and sustainable support programme in which individuals, families and organisations contribute monetary or in-kind donations to help children with diabetes in developing countries.

The formula is simple: contributions from donors go to established diabetes centres enabling them to provide the ongoing clinical care and diabetes education children need to stay alive. The centres provide comprehensive clinical and financial feedback to the Programme management team in Sydney, Australia.

The Programme aims to provide:

  • Sufficient insulin and syringes
  • Blood glucose monitoring equipment
  • Appropriate clinical care
  • HbA1c testing
  • Diabetes education
  • Technical support for health professionals

Some centres need support for all these areas; others need support for only some components.