Do Impoverished Diabetic Children Receive Adequate Treatment Options
Here's what my 9-year-old son said today in response to a similar question: "Probably the really poor kids or kids who don't have someone to take care of them. They'll probably get a cure first."
I was touched by his logic. Of course the neediest should get the best treatment and cures first. They have the most limited resources for living with the challenges diabetes imposes, but in reality opposite is true. The most vulnerable and most needy are usually the last to benefit from medical and scientific advances. One outcome of World Diabetes Day was to highlight the fact that kids still do die from diabetes in many parts of the world.
I pondered Josh's questions and his response as buildings from the Leaning Tower of Pisa to the Sydney Opera House to the Empire State Building were awash in blue. Wow, the electric bills! Now that we are shining the light on the problem, let's get to the solutions.
My family is incredibly lucky to live in the United States and have health insurance and good local medical care. We push to get what we need when we need it to treat our son's diabetes as effectively and as noninvasively as possible. Many people in the rest of the world are not so lucky. I spend a lot of energy working to raise money to finance medical research. Now we need the get the benefits of that research to the bedsides of patients around the globe.
The 2007/2008 World Diabetes Day focuses on children and teens strives to deliver the message that "no child should die from diabetes." There is a lot we need to do to make that statement a reality. It's not just research to improve treatments and find cure therapeutics. We need to address gaps in education about diabetes and inequities in healthcare delivery. There are policy changes to make and I'm sure there will be innumerable task forces and committees formed, but enough talk.
There are things that need to be done NOW to get diabetes treatment to children and adults in need. Check out this link from the International Diabetes Federation, the key sponsor of the UN's Resolution and World Diabetes Day. Data from this site blew me away. "The average A1c of children in Baku, Azerbaijan: 12. There is no capacity for measuring A1C in the Congo."
Life for a Child offers ways to support children with diabetes in developing countries. Check it out.