The International Diabetes Federation (IDF) and Direct Relief have a 10-year history of collaboration. The partnership began with the Life For A Child Program that is now run out of Diabetes New South Wales. The Program provides access to life-sustaining medication and monitoring to over 21,000 under-served children with type 1 diabetes in 42 countries. The supplies include insulin, needles & syringes, blood glucose meters & strips, and specialized diagnostic A1C equipment. This program has enabled children with diabetes in some of the world’s poorest countries to gain access to the medical products that sustain their lives.
Direct Relief and IDF began a pilot collaboration in 2019 to encourage healthcare manufacturers to donate diabetes related medical product to help address the gaps in diabetes care during times of emergency and or crisis situations. This collaboration has resulted in the donation of over 5 million tablets of oral diabetes medications, tens of thousands of vials of insulin, and diabetes related consumables to some of the most at-risk countries in the developing world that experienced natural disasters and or emergency crisis. Direct Relief distributed these medicines to numerous countries, including: the Bahamas, Bolivia, Congo, Democratic Republic of Congo, Ethiopia, Kurdistan, Malawi, North Korea, Syria, Venezuela, and Zimbabwe.
According to latest Diabetes Atlas, the number of people worldwide with diabetes has risen to 463 million. As the global disease burden continues to shift from communicable to noncommunicable diseases (NCDs), diabetes has emerged as a major contributor to death and disability worldwide, responsible for 4.2. million deaths in 2019. Fortunately, health complications related to diabetes can be minimized or often eliminated entirely through access to essential medicines and proper care, but this is often not the case for those in a country that is experiencing crisis or natural disaster.
IDF and Direct Relief invite healthcare companies that manufacture diabetes-related medicines, enabling technologies, and diagnostic products to support this program with consistent donations of their products, so that assistance can be provided to countries and regions impacted by emergency and disaster situations. IDF will help identify and work with its members in those affected regions that need support to ensure appropriate and rapid response.