Today is World Diabetes Day. The theme of this year’s World Diabetes Day campaign is Diabetes in Children and Adolescents. Diabetes is one of the most common chronic diseases of childhood. It can strike children at any age, including pre-school children and even toddlers. Yet diabetes in children is often diagnosed late, when the child has diabetic ketoacidosis (DKA), or it is misdiagnosed completely.
In many parts of the world, insulin, the main life-saving medication that children with diabetes need to survive, is not available (or is available but remains inaccessible for reasons of economy, geography or constraints on supply). As a consequence, many children die of diabetes, particularly in low and middle-income countries. Those closest to the child – family, school staff, family doctor – may not be aware of the ominous signs.
The World Diabetes Day 2007 and 2008 campaigns set out to challenge this and firmly establish the message that ‘no child should die of diabetes’.
This morning there was a small ceremony to launch the Clinical Practice Guidelines for Diabetes Mellitus in conjunction with World Diabetes Day. The guest of honour, YB Minister of Health, said in his speech that an estimated 12 percent of our population suffers from diabetes. Thats around 45,000 people, myself included.
YB Pehin called on parents, teachers, and other community leaders to join in the awareness campaign. “More public information should be provided about the disease, how to identify and manage it. The public need to keep themselves informed about diabetes and its dangers and find out if they are sufferers. ” said YB Pehin.