Getting Insulin to Syrians with Diabetes

Accessibility to insulin is a hot topic for many in the United States, but our battles pale in comparison to what those with diabetes in developing countries face every single day.

A few years back, we introduced the #Insulin4All initiative created by charitable group T1International, which intends to bring the life-sustaining medicine to people throughout the globe who need it most. Its founder, longtime kind 1 Elizabeth Rowley at the united kingdom, shared her narrative here at the ‘Mine at November 2015.

Now, T1International is focusing their efforts on a specific Middle Eastern country where adults and children with diabetes tend to be hard-pressed to get the basics for survival. The group is running a fundraising initiative throughout July known as Insulin for Syrians, and we’re happy to welcome Elizabeth back to explain this effort and why it’s so significant.

Surviving Diabetes in Syria, by Elizabeth Rowley

A man I talked to in Syria with a child with type 1 diabetes says gaining access to insulin and basic life requirements is very difficult, to the point he attempted to flee to Europe by sea. But at the risk of facing brutal sea seas and after viewing pictures of children who drowned in the water, he still thought twice and stays in his country — doing everything he can to keep his son alive, while recognizing it is impossible for him to live like other kids.

That dad’s battle is a common person, and it highlights the urgent need for insulin accessibility in Syria. That’s the subject behind our Insulin for Syrians campaign, being arranged by the charity T1International. We are encouraging people to    money, which will go to the source of insulin and other diabetes supplies to households in Syrian cities which were cut off from help.

For me, this is very personal. I was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes at age 4 and have led a fairly privileged life, despite paying high costs for health insurance in the USA. I came to London in 2011 to study international development and officially founded T1International in 2013 after having studied diabetes round the world extensively.

T1InternationalWe cooperate with people round the world to urge better access to diabetes, insulin supplies, health care, education and support for ALL people with type 1 diabetes, no matter where they live. We are working towards sustainable solutions and a day at which no on must wait and worry if they will have the ability to get their following vial of insulin or vial of test strips. We are particularly attentive to the skyrocketing prices of insulin in the USA right now, and are committed to change on this front too.

After publishing a few articles about the situation in Syria and linking with people facing the crisis of war along with type 1 diabetes, the trustees of our group decided that we needed to do something desperately. We’ve been thrilled to find the Diabetes Community uniting supporting this initiative to support our many brothers and sisters with type 1 diabetes who may otherwise not create it.  

Some of those  biggest struggles  faced by people with diabetes who remain in Syria include access to just expired or damaged insulin without the availability of diabetes specialists. A low estimate from T1International’s partner, the Syrian American Medical Society (SAMS), notes that there are 2,000 Syrians who are in immediate need of insulin, syringes and blood glucose monitoring provides. In all probability, there are quite many more in need.

From the war-torn town of Aleppo, the street is heavily targeted by snipers, shells and air strikes, and it is subjected from two sides — the Kurdish militias and the government forces. The SAMS Logistics Manager advised T1International: “The physicians and the medical help providers threaten themselves to provide the insulin and the other medical aids to over 300,000 residing in the city. Many civilians are murdered every day. They’re facing many difficulties in their life, even if they did not require medical service. The associations are the chief targets of the Russian and Syrian air strikes.”

SAMS is just one of the only bands continuing to operate in some of the worst sections of Syria, such as Aleppo and Idlib in which the circumstance is particularly dangerous. They do their best to keep hospitals safe, despite the ongoing targeting of those centers.

However, what SAMS is doing is not enough, since they just don’t possess the capital, and that’s where our T1International campaign and the Diabetes Community come into play.

A donation of just $15 can offer somebody with insulin for at least a month, and $135 will be enough to provide  approximately one year’s worth of insulin and a number of life-saving test strips to monitor blood sugar levels and adjust insulin dosages. With this gift, you may really give the gift of life.

Insulin and other equipment will be purchased in Turkey from various suppliers since there is little to no insulin accessible in Syria now. It will be brought over on a reefer truck by the incredible SAMS personnel who cross exceptionally dangerous roads to return to Syria. They know that although it is unsafe, there are thousands who need insulin desperately. There are just a small number of operating hospitals left in Syria, a number underground. These will be the principal points of supply of the insulin and provides, where supplies can be kept cool.

Your contribution will support people like Safiah, who resides in Deir Azzour town, near the Iraqi borders. In compiling this particular post, Safiah shared with her story:

“I operate in the only working pharmacy here. We do not have insulin within our pharmacy, therefore I have to drive about 4 hours each month to go to Alraqqa town to get the insulin for myself and the other sufferers. The sources are very limited, hence we receive supplies for one month at one time. 1 day, the power went off due to the shell bombing at Deir Azzour, and the town became under quite strict siege. It was time for me to journey to find the insulin provides, but I could not leave because it was so risky. A week after the street turned into safer, but as a result of lack of insulin I was very sick so I could not travel to receive the insulin, however, a buddy of mine”

Safiah continued: “Unfortunately for some, this happened too late. During the week without the insulin provides a 7-year-old boy died due to severe DKA. But, we could save a 14-year-old girl’s life together with the insulin my buddy brought back. I so wish we had had enough supplies for an excess week to spare that boy’s life.”

My hope is that through T1International we can help alter this and save additional lives through donations for our Insulin For Syrians effort.

Thank you for sharing, Elizabeth. We hope our readers will help spread the word, so that we may best assist these members of our D-Community who need it most.

Disclaimer: Content created by the Diabetes Mine team. For additional information click here.


This content is created for Diabetes Mine, a customer health blog concentrated on the diabetes community. The content is not medically reviewed and does not stick to Healthline’s editorial guidelines. To learn more regarding Healthline’s venture with Diabetes Mine, please click here.

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