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International Diabetes Federation Calls for Global Action to Keep All Children With Diabetes Alive
Date:10/13/2008

ications associated with the disease. A child's access to appropriate medication and care should be a right not a privilege.

"The stark reality is that many children in developing countries die soon after diagnosis," said Dr Jean-Claude Mbanya, President-Elect of the International Diabetes Federation. "It's been 87 years since the discovery of insulin, yet many of the world's most vulnerable citizens, including many children, die needlessly because of lack of access to this essential drug. This is a global shame. We owe it to future generations to address this issue now."

In many developing countries, particularly in Sub-Saharan Africa and some parts of Asia, life-saving diabetes medication and monitoring equipment is often unavailable or unaffordable. As a result, many children with diabetes die soon after diagnosis, or have poor control and quality of life, and develop the devastating complications of the disease early.

In order to support some of those children, the International Diabetes Federation created its Life for a Child Program in 2001. The program, which is operated in partnership with Diabetes Australia-NSW and HOPE worldwide, currently supports a total of 1000 children in Azerbaijan, Bolivia, The Democratic Republic of Congo, Ecuador, Fiji, India, Mali, Nepal, Nigeria, Papua New Guinea, The Philippines, Rwanda, Sri Lanka, Sudan, The United Republic of Tanzania, Uzbekistan and Zimbabwe.

"The 1000 children that we support represent a pitifully small number of those in need," said Dr. Silink, who co-founded the Program. "It seems unthinkable that diabetes care remains beyond the reach of so many. Solutions are available now to address the issues of affordability and accessibility. The means exist to strengthen healthcare systems and provide the diabetes education of healthcare professionals and the families of those affected by diabetes to make a significant step forward."

The timing of the London meeting is no accident,
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SOURCE International Diabetes Federation (IDF)
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