The International Diabetes Federation (IDF) Life for a Child Program has expanded into the U.S. to launch IDF Life for a Child (USA) Inc. (LFAC), a 501c(3) organization dedicated to saving the lives of children and youth (under 26 years of age) with Type 1 diabetes in low income countries. The organization aims to raise awareness for the approximately 115,000 children with Type 1 diabetes in less-resourced countries who are still not receiving the medicine and care they need.
In an effort to reduce this number, LFAC supports recognized diabetes centers in low income countries, caring for young people with diabetes. The centers are strengthened through the provision of supplies and technical support in order to improve care. Currently, 18,000 children with diabetes throughout 46 countries are being supported by LFAC. The organization also conducts international advocacy and clinical research, and where possible, helps both young adults and recipient countries achieve sustainability.
“Diabetes management is complex. While the first step is getting access to insulin, it needs to be followed up by blood glucose testing and education on managing diabetes so that the quality of care can improve,” said Larry Deeb, president of Life for a Child (USA) Inc. “This effort takes both time and ongoing resources. We hope this expansion into the U.S. will help us gain access to the additional resources and support we need to continue transforming diabetes care in these less resourced countries.”
Life for a Child supports all children and youth until they reach the age of 26. Support varies according to the needs within a country, and includes:
- Blood glucose meter and strips
- HbA1c testing
- Diabetes education and materials
- Health professional training
- Transportation cost for more remote families
- Supply storage – e.g. refrigerators to store insulin
Donations to the program are carefully directed to key areas of diabetes care and management so that established pediatric diabetes centers and associations can provide the best possible care, given local circumstances, to all children and youth with diabetes in developing countries. Donating just $1 a day to the LFAC program can provide a child with regular insulin, quality blood glucose monitoring equipment, and essential clinical care, as well as up-to-date diabetes education materials and specialized diabetes training for medical staff.
“Life for a Child has made its impact quite literally, all over the world, and has done so successfully,” said Emma Naughton, director of Life for a Child (USA) Inc. “Can you imagine the things we will accomplish, the lives we will save and the new heights we will reach with the U.S.’s involvement?”
LFAC receives substantial support from various US companies including Eli Lilly, Trividia Health, LifeScan (Johnson & Johnson), Becton Dickinson, and Siemens Healthcare. The Leona M and Harry B Helmsley Charitable Trust is a major financial supporter.
To kick off its U.S. presence, LFAC is launching a campaign for 1,000 individual recurrent ($1 per day) donors. Meeting this campaign goal will provide ongoing support for insulin and blood glucose supplies for 2,000-3,000 children. To learn more about this program or how to get involved, please visit www.idf.org/lifeforachild and www.lifeforachildusa.org.