O is for Outrage Campaign: Diabetes is a Global Epidemic
One of the remarkable things about people who live with diabetes is our desire to help others. But often we forget that our own disease needs a loud and resounding voice, not just fundraising for a cure, but to advocate for those who can not help themselves. Some of the most staggering statistics regarding diabetes are these:
- Children diagnosed with type 1 diabetes have a mortality rate of 85% in third world countries. According to WHO, 80% of people in developing countries pay directly for some, or all of their medicine. In latin American, families pay 40-60% of diabetes supplies directly.
- In third world countries, poverty ignorance, illiteracy and lack of access to medical care compound the problem. About half the people with diabetes are diagnosed. Many cannot afford the cost of medical care and this adds to the delay in diagnosis and this often leads complications.
- For type 1 the high mortality rate is due to not getting the diagnosis soon enough. Studies done in Zambia, Mali and Mozambique show the sad story: a person requiring insulin for survival in Zambia will live an average of 11 years with type 1 diabetes; in Mali, a person is expected to live for 30 months and in Mozambique, a person living on insulin will die 12 months after diagnosis.
Even in this country we need to do more. When Frederick Banting developed insulin, it was a precious commodity. And, for years, many people continued to die from diabetes because of a lack access to insulin and due to it's cost.
The same cannot be said for those people living in countries that do not have the infrastructure to support them. If access to medical care is a 1 day walk, the truth is live will not exist for someone with diabetes. Haiti is a great example of the problem. Getting medical supplies, like insulin to a country that has extensive poverty and then crippled by natural disaster is a crisis in itself. Another example is this video with Samuel Gachucha from IDF:
Ann Keeling, CEO of International Diabetes Foundation (IDF) said, "We do not want the world to sleepwalk into a sick future that is avoidable." There is a UN Summit on global health issues September 19-20 in NYC. IDF has created a campaign called O is for Outrage to convince President Obama to show that he is committed to the prevention and control of non communicable diseases(NCD). IDF needs our help by filling out a postcard that will be sent to the White House on August 31.
Additionally, Manny Hernandez of Tudiabetes is helping spread awareness for the Show Your Outrage gathering in Central Park on September 18th from 12:00-3:00pm. Add your voice, we have everything to gain!