Wednesday, 15 October 2008
Blog Action Day: Poverty
With all the money we have in this world, no one should live without. Without anything. Period. Lemonade Life discusses poverty and diabetes here. The International Diabetes Federation created a program to help children living in poverty in the developing countries called Life for a Child. The money goes to purchasing insulin, syringes, glucose meters, test strips and provide diabetes education and A1C testing for children in 17 developing countries.
Afghanistan has endured 25 years of war and civil unrest. Today, ever-present U.S. and Canadian troops and fighting between warlords remain a tense fact of life as the country bravely moves forward with reconstruction. The country suffers from poverty, a lack of skilled and educated workers, a crumbling infrastructure and widespread land mines.
While medical education in Kabul is acceptable, clinics and hospitals are in very bad shape. Most medicines, including insulin and tablets, are smuggled in from neighbouring countries. Moreover they are often expired (thus only offering 40% to 50% of their potency) and not stored properly, since working refrigerators are also scarce.
And, as elsewhere in the developing world, the healthcare focus is on communicable diseases – not chronic diseases like diabetes. It is estimated that 8% of the population or about 1 million people have diabetes, but screening and to a large degree treatment are lacking. As a result, people who do not even know they have diabetes enter the hospitals with diabetic retinopathy, neuropathy, kidney failure and other severe complications.
Photo: Moises Saman for The New York Times