Today, Thursday 7th April, is World Health Day, this year the focus is on diabetes. The World Health Organisation (WHO) state that diabetes was the direct cause of death for over 1.5 million people in 2012, but 80% of these deaths occurred in developing countries. This last statistic does raise the question of whether access to life saving insulin, education and health care would have prevented many of these deaths. The World Health Organisation recognise that insulin is a medicine essential to life, yet state that half of the people who need it do not have access to it. 50 million people worldwide need insulin but can not afford it. An important statistic is also missing here; how many people die from undiagnosed Type 1 Diabetes? Many people die from undiagnosed diabetes because they can not afford to see a doctor, this means they are missing from the statistics. Sadly, whilst grieving, some parents are also relieved when their child dies from diabetes, this is due to the financial burden that keeping their child alive introduced. Diabetes should not be a death sentence.
Millions of people around the world struggle to access insulin, therefore there are millions of unnecessary deaths, which means millions of grieving parents. We all lead busy lives, how can we make a difference and relieve this suffering?
The story of the boy and the starfish comes to mind. Just like the old man who threw the starfish into the sea, you can make a difference to the life of one family by sponsoring a child with The Pendsey Trust. Jo Fox sponsors Ruchita, a young girl from Chandrapur, India. Like Jo’s son Oliver, Ruchita has Type 1, but without an NHS, Ruchita’s family were struggling to afford the insulin she needs to keep alive. Jo states:
“ Ruchita is now doing well and her health has improved, she is enjoying school and has a bright future ahead of her. We find the relationship we have with Ruchita incredibly rewarding, we think of her often and enjoy getting updates and photographs of her. Last summer, we also chose to send her a small box of gifts, but of course the real gift we give her is the gift of life”
It costs £200 a year to sponsor a child with The Pendsey Trust, this is just over £16 a month. Insulin access is a big world wide social problem, like the starfish on the sand, there are many children needing our help. Whilst we can not change the world, we can change the world for someone, somewhere. To that one starfish, we can make the world of difference.
To be the person making a difference in someones world, find out more about child sponsorship here.
Just £40 sends a child with Type 1 to school for a year. £16 pays for insulin for a month.
If you are not in a position to donate yourself, why not organise a fundraiser or donate your time in other ways? As a charity ran entirely by volunteers, we are always looking for people to help us grow. Email firstname.lastname@example.org for more details