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Life For A Child

Diabetes Association of Jamaica and International Diabetes
Federation’s initiative in collaboration with the Ministry of Health.

It is the policy of the diabetes association of Jamaica to offer care to all persons with diabetes and this includes children. The Diabetes Association of Jamaica and the International Diabetes Federation recently launched the above mentioned programme, which offers insulin, syringes, blood glucose monitors and testing supplies as well as A1c testing (4 per year) to children and youth with DM from birth to 25 years of age at no cost.


This programme is being developed with the Ministry of Health to enhance the care available to the children/youth affected by diabetes in an effort to improve their quality of life. It is our belief and that of the IDF that no child should die of diabetes. We would like to make this service available to all needy children with diabetes in your institution.


Kindly contact Lurline Less at 978-5915 to set a meeting on getting assistance for these children with diabetes.


Background information on Children with Diabetes and Life for a child programme Type 1 diabetes is rapidly increasing in children and adolescents in many countries, and evidence suggests that in a growing number of countries type 2 diabetes is now also being diagnosed in childhood.

Challenges of Type 1 Diabetes in Children

Type 1 diabetes is one of the most common endocrine and metabolic conditions in childhood, and incidence is rapidly increasing especially among the youngest children. Insulin treatment is life-saving and lifelong. Self-discipline and adherence to a balanced diet are necessary if the disease is to be well managed. In many countries, especially in less privileged families, access to self-care tools and also to insulin is limited and this may lead to severe handicap and early death in children with diabetes.


Many children and adolescents find it difficult to cope emotionally with their condition. Diabetes causes them embarrassment, results in discrimination and limits social relationships. It may impact on school performance and family functioning. The financial burden may be aggravated by the costs of treatment and monitoring equipment.

Trends in Incidence

The incidence of childhood onset type 1 diabetes is increasing in many countries in the world, at least in the under 15-year age group. There are strong indications of geographic differences in trends but the overall annual increase is estimated to be around 3%. There is evidence that incidence is increasing more steeply in some of the low prevalence countries such as those in central and eastern Europe. Moreover, several European studies have suggested that, in relative terms, increases are greatest in young children. There are clear indications that similar trends exist in many other parts of the world, but in sub-Saharan Africa incidence data are sparse or non–existent. Special efforts must be made to collect data, especially in those countries where diagnosis may be missed or neglected and, as a result, children die because they do not receive insulin.

Prevalence of Type 1 Diabetes in Children

It is estimated that annually some 76,000 children aged under 15 years develop type 1 diabetes worldwide. The North America and the Caribbean Region which includes Jamaica has an estimated prevalence of over 100,000 children with diabetes. Jamaica’s data shows over 1,000 children with diabetes being treated in the public sector.

Type 2 Diabetes in the Young

Type 2 diabetes in children and adolescents is on the increase in all countries, whether poor or rich. As with type 1 diabetes, many children with type 2 diabetes risk developing complications at an early age, which would place a significant burden on the family and society. There is growing recognition that type 2 diabetes in the young is becoming a global public health issue with a potentially serious health outcome 1 , in spite of the paucity of information in this area. A review of studies on type 2 diabetes in the young is available in the Diabetes Atlas, third edition 2.