Out of the office, into the community – micro financing for children with diabetes in Tanzania

In 2005, the International Diabetes Federation (IDF) programme, Life for a Child, began providing insulin, syringes and other essential supplies, including equipment to measure long-term blood glucose (HbAIc) and educational materials, for 146 children with diabetes at the Muhimbili National Hospital, Dar es Salaam, Tanzania. Help was also received from other agencies, as well as from the Tanzanian Government. The impact of these life-saving initiatives on the children and their families has been very positive. However, once the children turn 18, they are expected to find the money they need to maintain their treatment – and stay alive. This has proved way beyond the reach of very many Tanzanian families affected by their child’s diabetes. Dorothy McLarty reports on an innovative and sustainable project to meet the diabetes needs of these young people and improve the quality of life of the entire household.