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18 May 2021

Highlights

Life for a Child: saving the lives of children with diabetes in developing countries

20121120 World Diabetes Day celebrations Khartoum Sudan crop reduceIn developing countries, the diagnosis of type 1 diabetes is incredibly challenging for young people and their families, as treatment is not always available or affordable. Without adequate insulin, blood glucose monitoring, expert medical care and diabetes education, many children die quickly. Others develop early and devastating complications such as blindness and kidney failure. They are chronically unwell, and struggle to complete schooling, gain employment, and find a marriage partner. Often, proper care and medication for a child with diabetes can equal the combined cost of their family’s rent, clothing, food, and education. Deciding between one child’s health and the wellbeing of the rest of the family is a decision no parent should be forced to make, and the International Diabetes Federation launched the Life for a Child Program (LFAC) in 2001 to help disadvantaged children and youth access essential diabetes care.

LFAC works by strengthening existing in-country services, connecting with Diabetes Associations and hospitals that are established, reputable centres of care for children with diabetes. The support provided depends on needs, and includes insulin, blood glucose meters and strips, HbA1c equipment and supplies, diabetes education resources, health professional training, and mentoring. Currently LFAC supports over 12,000 children and youth in 43 developing countries. The Program’s Annual Budget is US$1.3 million, with over $4 million of in-kind donations (insulin, blood glucose meters and strips) also received and distributed.

This is a unique program in both its geographic extent and impact. Its greatest strength lies in harnessing the resources and skills of the international diabetes community – the diabetes world helping its own, with the vision that “No child should die of diabetes”. Within IDF Europe, Member Associations in the Netherlands, Luxembourg, and other countries in Scandinavia are assisting with funding, and experts from these and other countries (Ireland, UK, France) are helping with mentoring and training.

Many more children and youth are in need of support.  At the upcoming IDF World Diabetes Congress, the Life for a Child programme will be presented to the IDF Europe General Assembly, asking all European Associations if they would consider helping with fundraising for the program.  For further information, or if you would like to refer a centre needing assistance, please contact Dr. Graham Ogle (LFAC General Manager) via This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

For more information about the programme, visit www.lifeforachild.org

$1 a day (for 12 months) allows LFAC to provide a years’ worth of insulin, blood glucose monitoring equipment, and diabetes education to one child/young adult with diabetes.