Emergency diabetes supplies dispatched to Haiti

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An estimated 300,000 Haitians with diabetes urgently need help.

The International Diabetes Federation (IDF) and Australia-based non-governmental organization Insulin for Life have launched a relief effort for people with diabetes in quake-stricken Haiti.

A shipment of insulin, meters, test strips and other supplies has been rushed to the Haitian Foundation for Diabetes and Cardiovascular Diseases (Fondation Haitienne de Diabete et de Maladies Cardio-Vasculaires).

The foundation houses the only dedicated diabetes clinic in Haiti, which is understood to still be standing.

Communicating by email, the foundation's vice-president Philippe Larco said, "We have survived the earthquake which affected almost 3 million Haitians with hundreds of thousands dead."

"We are ready to receive diabetes supplies and distribute it in the best possible way to people with diabetes through our network." Mr Larco added.

An additional parcel of diabetes supplies was sent to Haiti Diabetes Foundation project coordinator Dr Nancy Larco in Washington, USA. On Sunday, Dr Larco reached Haiti with the shipment of life-saving insulin and has begun distributing it to those in need.

The International Diabetes Federation is also setting up a Haiti Diabetes Trust Fund where its more than 200 member associations can contribute to building services for people with diabetes in the nation.

"Our thoughts and prayers are with those affected by this terrible tragedy. As attention shifts from rescue to caring for survivors, IDF will continue spearheading efforts by the global diabetes community to ensure people with diabetes are given the assistance they need," said IDF President Jean Claude Mbanya.

"Haitians who have survived the earthquake should not needlessly die from diabetes," Prof Mbanya added.

According to the IDF Diabetes Atlas, more than 300,000 thousand Haitians have diabetes.

"It is vital that people with diabetes receive timely care during such emergencies when healthcare services are hampered," said Ron Raab, President of Insulin for Life.

"In Haiti, we have had direct contact with diabetes specialists who will receive and distribute the life-saving insulin. So we are hopeful that people with diabetes will quickly receive the insulin they need to survive," he added.

For more information, please contact:

International Diabetes Federation
Rahul Venkit
Multimedia Manager
Tel: +322-6795582
[email protected]

Brussels, Belgium
Sunday, January 17, 2010