The number of people with diabetes has risen from 108 million in 1980 to 422 million in 2014, according to the World Health Organization.
As daunting as the numbers are, the day-to-day realities of living with diabetes in an area without adequate care are far worse. Fortunately, the many health complications related to diabetes can be minimized or eliminated entirely through early detection and changes in daily lifestyle.
Direct Relief is providing critical medicines and supplies for patients with diabetes to its network of health facilities around the world.
Addressing Diabetes Globally
As the global disease burden continues to shift from communicable to non-communicable diseases, type 1 and type 2 diabetes have emerged as major contributors to death and disability worldwide, directly causing an estimated 1.6 million deaths per year.
As daunting as these statistics are, the day-to-day realities of living with diabetes in an area without adequate care are far worse.
Fortunately, the many health complications related to diabetes can be minimized or eliminated entirely through early detection and changes in daily lifestyle.
That is why Direct Relief conducts a range of initiatives to prevent diabetes and help patients manage their condition.
People with diabetes must carefully monitor their diet and often spend a significant portion of their monthly income on diabetes-related items such as blood sugar test strips and medications.
To help alleviate this burden, Direct Relief supports community health facilities in the U.S. and globally with insulin and other diabetes-specific medications and supplies that are donated by companies that include BD and Eli Lilly, among others.
Temperature-sensitive medicines like insulin are shipped to Direct Relief partners inside specialized packaging that maintains a constant temperature range between 35.6-46.4 degrees Fahrenheit for 120 hours.
To ensure and verify that the cold-supply chain has been maintained throughout the transit process, temperature-data loggers are inserted into each package to record the internal temperature of the shipment every two minutes.
Children with diabetes face unique challenges, including in school, which often lacks adequate health care services. As a result, children with diabetes can be excluded from various school activities.
Recognizing the importance of helping kids cope with diabetes and the stress it causes, organizations like the Diabetes Education & Camping Association and the American Diabetes Association organize camps to help children manage their condition while enjoying outdoor activities.