Eritrea, Tajikistan, Ghana, Haiti, Syria, the United States.
These and 11 other countries all received shipments of life-sustaining insulin over the past three months.
More than 422 million people around the world have diabetes, according to the World Health Organization. Only a fraction have the means to access the medicine they need to manage their disease.
Thanks to several key donations, Direct Relief is now shipping more insulin than ever before, and a new warehouse with expanded cold storage lets that insulin stay at optimum temperature before reaching the people who need it the most.
One of the challenges of distributing insulin is keeping it at a constant temperature through transit.
When Direct Relief receives a donation of insulin, it’s stored in the organization’s 2,800-square-foot cold room, which stays between 36 and 41 degrees Fahrenheit. The room is stacked floor to ceiling with temperature-sensitive medications, including insulin and vaccines.
When it’s time to send a shipment, these medications are packed into refrigerated shipping containers at Direct Relief’s warehouse. The specialized containers maintain cold temperatures until medications arrive at a health center, clinic or hospital, where they are stored and administered to patients.
Managing diabetes across the U.S.
One key initiative is enabling Direct Relief to ship more insulin throughout the U.S.
Recently, Eli Lilly and Company donated $4.4 million worth of insulin to Direct Relief for health centers and clinics across the United States.
Direct Relief regularly ships essential medicines to health centers through its replenishment program. Because of the latest donation, nearly 30 clinics and health centers across the U.S. will receive monthly shipments of requested insulin.
To ensure each location has the ability to store that insulin safely, Direct Relief shipped 78 refrigerators – custom sized to fit under a pharmacy counter – to 29 clinical sites across the U.S., thanks to a donation from Sanofi.
Supporting Children with Diabetes, Around the World
Another donation from Eli Lilly has insulin being shipped around the world for children living with Type 1 diabetes.
Earlier this year, Lilly donated 272,000 vials of insulin to be distributed around the world to hospitals and diabetes associations supported by the International Diabetes Federation’s Life for a Child program.
Direct Relief has been working with the Life for a Child Program to provide insulin, syringes and other supplies, as well as diabetes education to children. Over half of that insulin supply has been shipped to 10,500 patients in 16 countries, and the remaining 115,000 vials of insulin will be sent to 15 countries by October 2018.
Going forward, Direct Relief will oversee the logistics and distribution of approximately 300,000 vials of various insulin mixes donated by Eli Lilly for the program each year, allowing more people to manage the disease and live life to the fullest.