Helping Developing Countries
Suspension of donations of unwanted, in-date insulin and other diabetes supplies
We are always very grateful for the donations of unwanted, in-date and unused insulin and other diabetes supplies, such as needles, lancets and test strips. This is a great help to people with diabetes in developing countries. However, in view of the coronavirus situation, we have had to reconsider the various practicalities of this at the present time.
There are various practical points we have had to consider:
- If there is a problem with our postal system, then insulin could remain in the postal system for too long and lose some of its potency.
- We normally send supplies to Tanzania and there are no further deliveries to Tanzania where we normally send it. There is limited fridge space at IDDT’s office to store supplies so we could be in a position of not being able to store it safely.
- In the worst-case scenario that we have to shut the office, then there is no one to accept the incoming post and deliveries.
Therefore, we are temporarily asking you not to send any insulin or other diabetes supplies to us. We ask you to keep insulin stored in your fridge until this very difficult time is over and then send it to us in the usual way.
IDDT helps poor children and young people with diabetes
Have you any unwanted, in-date insulin in your fridge?
IDDT is the UK arm of an Australian organisation, ‘Insulin for Life’ [IFL]. IFL is a not-for-profit organisation which collects unwanted, unopened, in-date insulin and test strips to send to developing countries as part of a humanitarian aid programme. Details of IFL can be found by visiting www.insulinforlife.org
Here is a true story:
“Kilpana was a 5 year old little girl with diabetes who visited the Nagpur clinic regularly with her parents. One day she was brought into the clinic in a coma and ketoacidosis. Her parents had stopped giving her insulin because they simply could not afford it any longer. In desperation they had resorted to alternative medicine. Kilpana died!”
If children with diabetes have adequate daily doses of insulin, they grow normally and can do things that children without diabetes can do. But if the dose is inadequate, then their growth is impaired and their quality of life is adversely affected. If insulin injections are stopped, they go into coma and this can be fatal.
In developing countries the cost of insulin for one person can be as much as 50% of a family’s income, so one of the main problems for poor families is that find it extremely difficult to afford the insulin and medical treatment for just one child in the family.
Under agreed protocols, IDDT collects and sends unwanted insulin and other diabetes supplies to clinics in developing countries for distribution to children and adults with diabetes who cannot afford insulin and treatment they need to stay alive. IDDT ensures that any insulin and supplies you donate will reach the developing countries in need of our help.
The need is for:
- No longer needed, unopened and in-date insulin [with at least 3 months to the expiry date]
- Syringes, lancets, needles
- Glucose test strips
In 2010 IDDT collected and distributed over 9000 pre-filled pens, cartridges and vials of insulin to those who so desperately need them. All this unwanted insulin totalled a value of over £60,000. This cost is paid for by the NHS and would have gone to waste were it not for the Insulin for Life campaign and the kind actions of those who make the effort to send us their unwanted insulin and diabetes supplies. The sad thing is, this is only the tip of the iceberg, there is far more insulin simply being thrown away that could be used to help save lives.
Please help if you can by sending supplies in a ‘jiffy bag’ or box to:
InDependent Diabetes Trust
PO Box 294
tel: 01604 622837
fax: 01604 622838
Thank you, you will help people to stay alive!
Helping people with diabetes living in Uganda
Diabetes Consultation Association (DCA) has been in operation for 16 months. DCA is a non-profit organisation that cares for, treats and educates children and teenagers living with type 1 diabetes. DCA was founded by Masereka Robert who got diabetes at age of 5 years and has thrived with it up to the age of 32yrs.
Currently DCA receives 100 patients per month at its education centre in Kasese district. 55% of type 1 patients now know how to treat themselves. DCA receives insulin from Insulin for Life USA for type1 patients. There are quite a number of people in the hard to reach villages who are suffering from type 1 diabetes and find it hard to reach our centre.
DCA has started an initiative to carry out outreaches to these poor resource settings so that we can help more people survive from this deadly condition. As the director of this organisation, Robert is fundraising to purchase a vehicle to help DCA fulfil this obligation.
The details can be found on the DCA website: www.gofundme.com/helping-diabetics-living-in-uganda
IDDT helping in Ethiopia
IDDT has been helping people in Ethiopia by supplying information to their Diabetes organisation for distribution. They have supplied it to schools so that teachers can educate the pupils about diabetes as well as to children and adults with diabetes.
Here are some photographs of the presentations to the pupils:
News from Tanzania
For the last few years IDDT has been working with the International Diabetes Federation (IDF) and the Tanzania Diabetes Federation (TDA) to provide much needed aid to children and young adults with type 1 diabetes in Tanzania. The TDA started its child sponsorship program in 2005, supported by organisations like IDDT and the IDF, who collect and send on vital supplies, including syringes and blood glucose testing equipment.
The vast majority of families of children with type 1 diabetes live on very low incomes and simply cannot afford to provide adequate food for their children, let alone purchase the insulin and equipment they need. This very often means that parents discourage their children from having daily multiple insulin injections, resulting in high rates of hospital admissions of children with diabetic ketoacidosis. It also means that the children also have HbA1c levels that are very high, thus increasing the risk of developing the complications of diabetes. Add to this the fact that many families cannot afford the costs of travelling to and from their clinic, simply makes the situation even worse.
The sponsorship program was started in 2005 by Dr Kaushik Ramaiya at the Muhimbili National Hospital with just 30 children. Since then the project has continued to expand and now supports 260 children in 5 hospitals. The program has been able to support the training of doctors and nursing staff, as well as develop a comprehensive education program for children and their families. Thanks to this the program has made some major achievements, including:
- A reduction in the incidence of diabetic ketoacidosis.
- A reduction in the number and duration of hospital admissions.
- A decrease in mortality rates.
- A decrease in the number of school days lost.
- An increase in body weight of children with type 1 diabetes.
In addition to building on these achievements, the TDA is looking to secure funding to help towards the travel costs of poor families who need to attend the clinics, further helping to improve their quality of life.
Here are some of the childrens’ stories in their own words:
My name is Evance Mmasi, 14 years old male. I am the 11th born in the family of twelve. I am in standard three now. Currently I am staying with my elder brother, my parents are in Moshi. They are so poor that they could not afford to take care of my condition because I had recurrent admissions with similar complaints most of the time and no diagnosis was reached. Finally I was diagnosed as having diabetes in October 2005, when I was admitted at Kilimanjaro Christian Medical Centre, Moshi .Since then I’ve been taking insulin. No one has Diabetes in my family. Insulin was so expensive for the two months I used it. Fortunately my brother was told about this program, I thank you so much for your support. There are other children out of Dar who are facing similar condition like I had. Please extend your support to other parts of Tanzania!
My name is Anita John Bulindi, I am 15 years old female. I am the second born in the family of three. I have lived with diabetes for 10years; I am in Form Four at Shaban Robert Secondary School.There is a family history of Diabetes (My paternal uncle).In 1999, I was admitted with diabetes ketoacidosis that is when I was diagnosed as having diabetes. Since then I was started on Insulin.Unfortunately I can not afford Insulin and my mother has developed mental illness in 2007. I thank the child sponsorship program, for the help they are giving us. They give us medicines and carry out regular laboratory investigations. Please keep it up.
I am 19 years old. I am the 3rd born in the family of 6 Children. I have completed standard seven now. I have joined the microfinance program from TDA. I am going to establish small business. I was diagnosed with diabetes in October 2005.No one in the family has diabetes mellitus. My family can not afford to buy insulin, so I have to move all the way from the outskirt of Dar es Salaam to come to this diabetes clinic to get Insulin. At least the transport fare is far cheaper than the cost of insulin. Thank you so much for the support. I wish this support is extended to other areas out of Dar es Salaam so that other children with Diabetes can benefit too.
How You can help:
There are two ways in which YOU can help.
- Perhaps you have recently changed your insulin or equipment and now have supplies that you no longer need – then send them direct to us and we will ensure that they are sent to those that need them.
- Ask for one of our “Look in Your Fridge” posters to give to your doctor and/or nurse and ask them to send us any unwanted insulin or equipment that they have.
InDependent Diabetes Trust
PO Box 294
tel: 01604 622837
fax: 01604 622838
Sponsor a child
IDDT has a sponsor a child scheme and we ask people to give as little as £2.00 a month to sponsor a child at Dream Trust in Nagpur, India. The cost of treatment a month’s treatment for a child ranges between Rs.500 and Rs.1000 according to the type of insulin and the daily dose, yet a labourer earns only Rs.800 a month and a craftsman Rs.1500.
The cost of insulin for one child is £17.00 per month so if just 9 people make monthly standing order payments of just £2.00 a child’s life-saving insulin will be secured. All the money that is donated goes directly to the children – all the administration costs are paid for by IDDT.
If you could help to sponsor a child, contact:
PO Box 294
tel: 01604 622837
The forms will be sent to you.
About Dream Trust www.dreamtrust.org
In 1995 Dream Trust was founded by Dr Sharad Pendsey and his wife, after the tragic deaths of Kalpana and another little girl, Sudha.
Dr Pendsey, consultant in diabetes, says:
“Sudha was 8 years old and had just been diagnosed with diabetes. I counselled her parents and explained about insulin and its importance for survival. Sudha’s poor illiterate parents were very attentive and finally her father asked me, ‘Doctor, if I understand you correctly, does Sudha have to take insulin everyday for the rest of her life?’ ‘Well, if she didn’t, she would go into a coma and if left unattended she would die’, I explained. He nodded calmly and had clearly understood everything I said and I was happy the counselling had worked. I gave Sudha a pat on the head as she left the clinic. A month later I learnt that Sudah had died. Her father quite intentionally stopped giving her insulin, knowing very well what the result would be. The logic of poverty had overpowered the logic of life.”
The ways Dream Trust helps:
- To date 150 children with diabetes have been helped by being given free insulin, syringes, test strips, where possible, and their health is monitored.
- Social, cultural and economic factors in India lead to discrimination against girls with diabetes and parents find it difficult to arrange marriages for their daughters with diabetes. Dream Trust aims to help young women with diabetes to become financially self-reliant by focusing on vocational training in tailoring, telephone operations and nursing.
- The Trust has arranged 10 marriages of girls with diabetes, all of whom are happily settled.
Dream Trust in India was born to help prevent tragedies like the death of Sudha – through IDDT, you could help too.