Helping Those With Diabetes In Earthquake-Ravaged Haiti

Beth McNamara Health Guide
  • The reports of the devastation from Haiti's 7.0 earthquake last Tuesday are tough to watch, and tougher still to fathom. Harder to bear are the stories of those that lay suffering and dying, while supplies and aid sit on Port Au Prince's sole tarmac due to the country's destroyed physical and governmental infrastructure.

    Three million Haitians were impacted by the quake and the number of dead are expected to reach into the hundreds of thousands. It's hard to imagine that any one Haitian has been left untouched.  The outpouring of donations from around the world has been impressive, with the Red Cross alone saying that it had collected about $35 million already.

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    Yet for those of us who live with diabetes - or have a family member who does -- can't help but wonder how do the Haitians who have diabetes manage? With the infrastructure of the nation in shambles, where can the more than 313,000 Haitians with diabetes receive the supplies, medicines, and medical attention that they need during these times?

    DiabetesSupplies Are Coming; More Needed
    Fortunately, according to the International Diabetes Federation (IDF), the only clinic dedicated to diabetes in Haiti is still standing. The IDF, an umbrella organization serving over 200 diabetes-related associations worldwide, has teamed with Insulin for Life Australia, to provide monies and diabetes supplies to Haiti.

    Insulin for Life Australia moved quickly and sent supplies to the Diabetes Association in Haiti  just a few days after the earthquake.  To date, 1,370mls of insulin, glucose meters, lancets, syringes and pens have been shipped. According to the Insulin for Life website, the group has designated contacts to receive the donations and the supplies take four days to reach the country.

    Eli Lilly and Company, a large supplier of diabetes medicines and devices, also is pledging financial assistance and has committed an initial $250,000 in direct cash contributions to Haiti. Fifty percent of this will be for short-term relief, and the remaining will be given over the next 12 months to support rebuilding efforts. Lilly will match contributions made by its U.S. employees up to $250,000. The company also will work with non-governmental organization partners in Haiti for the appropriate donations of medicines.

    Where You Can Donate For Diabetes-Related Relief
    Haitians will be in need of support for months, possibly years to come. If you would like to help to ensure that diabetes supplies reach those that need them in Haiti, you can consider donating to the following sites dedicated to relief for those with diabetes:

    • Insulin for Life: The group needs money to cover the costs of shipping the donated supplies to Haiti. You can give, via PayPal, on their website: Also, the organization collects diabetes supplies like unopened vials of insulin, test strips, and other supplies that may otherwise go unused.
    • The dLife Foundation: a part of the dLife online community, has said that all of its donations made between now and March 31, 2010 will go to supporting the medical needs of the victims of the Haitian quake. One of the groups who will receive these funds is Insulin for Life. If you would like to donate to the dLife Foundation, go to:


Published On: January 19, 2010