This is what I see when I look at into our butter compartment. There is always insulin. Right now we have about a five month supply.
These small vials contain a drug discovered about 90 years ago. A drug that is mass produced by several pharmaceutical companies. A drug that literally keeps my child alive.
But what if you didn’t have access to insulin? What if your butter compartment only had a couple of vials of insulin? What if you didn’t know when you would receive more?
Would you give her the correct amount of basal insulin she needed to keep her blood sugar even throughout the day and in range? Would you give her insulin for every carb she consumed? Or would you give her an injection or two a day and hope for the best?
What if your butter compartment was empty?
This is the reality for many children of the world, who by circumstance of where they are born, do not have access to free-slowing insulin like we do in industrialized nations.
For these children, death is knocking at their door.
It is heartbreaking that these children must suffer complications and even die because something as simple as insulin isn’t made available to them.
While at the 2011 Roche Social Media Summit, Isabella Platon Head of Communications for the International Diabetes Federation (IDF) spoke to our group about IDF’s efforts and current campaigns. We were joined briefly later in the day by Jean Claude Mbanya, the current president of IDF. He gave an impassioned plea reminding us that where you are born determines your diabetes outcome.
I shared this video with you a few weeks ago. If you didn’t see it, please take the time and if you already have, please watch it as a reminder. It is startling the differences between the lives our children with diabetes have and that of children in other parts of the world.
O is for Outrage
(E-mail and feed subscribers click over for embedded video.)
So what can you do? Can you really make a difference? Yes!
Here are two simple things you can do to help raise awareness and money and bring attention to the need for children in developing nations to receive life-saving insulin.
1. Life for a Child
You can donate directly to Life for a Child through the IDF website.
Life for a Child 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.
The IDF “Life for a Child” Program is now supporting close to 8,000 children with diabetes in 26 countries.
2. O is for Outrage Postcard Campaign
As of right now, President Obama is not scheduled to attend the UN Summit in September. Urge him to take this global problem seriously. It’s as simple as going to the IDF website and filling out a postcard. They will even send it for you! Choose from several pre-written messages or write in your own.
Here is what I wrote:
Dear Mr. President
My daughter was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes in 2008 at the age of three. She has the benefit of insulin that we can pay for because of our insurance and jobs. Other children of the world don’t have access to life saving insulin. It is heartbreaking to think that a mother could lose her child simply because they live in the wrong part of the world.
(Updated to add) If you would like to hear Jean Claude Mbanya speak, tune in live to the Diabetes Social Med chat tonight (Thursday, July 21, 2011) where he will be the guest. You can call in and chat and you can also listen to the show archive later.
Roche paid for my transportation, lodging, and meals for my attendance at the Roche Social Media Summit. No monetary compensation was given. They did not ask me to write about the summit. While some of the information within this post was presented by Roche and IDF, opinions are my own. Please read the disclosure statement.