The incidence of Type 1 diabetes among children is increasing in many countries, particularly in children under the age of 15. It is estimated that some 79,000 children under the age of 15 will develop Type 1 diabetes annually worldwide.
In many parts of Ethiopia, children with Type 1 diabetes still cannot access insulin or basic medical supplies such as syringes and strips because they are neither affordable nor readily available. As a result of their lack of access to medical treatment, many die soon after developing diabetes.
For a family in Ethiopia, having a child with diabetes means great financial burden. The Ethiopian Diabetes Association is working to solve some of the challenges faced by diabetes patients with the Changing Diabetes in Children project. Through project implementation, however, they have learned many factors that affect treatment of diabetes, including lack of adequate knowledge of diabetes by health care professionals, families, and affected children.
Furthermore, the lack of knowledge about Type 1 diabetes among the general public and among school peers places the affected child in a very delicate situation in learning how to deal with their condition. In an effort to help remove the stigma and increase knowledge about diabetes, the Ethiopian Diabetes Association has built a movement to help raise awareness through their “I Walk Because It Matters” event. The public can help support the effort by participating in the walk this Sunday, November 12, at 7:30 AM from Jan Meda to British Embassy. You can find the t-shirts from Ethiopian Diabetes Association Office, any Kaldis Coffee locations and A to Z dry cleaners for 100 Birr only.