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The International Diabetes Federation’s (IDF) Life for a Child Program is set to help over 200 children with diabetes in Jamaica as of this year.

Jamaica will become the 23nd nation to benefit from the Life for a Child Program since its creation in 2001, taking the total number of children receiving support from the Program to over 3,800 worldwide.

“This is a key step towards addressing the needs of a particularly vulnerable group of young people in Jamaican society,” said IDF President Jean Claude Mbanya, who will launch the Life for a Child Program in Kingston on the sidelines of a conference on diabetes and smoking. Prof Mbanya will also have a courtesy call with Sir Patrick Allen, the Governor-General of Jamaica, on 23 March.

The Jamaican Ministry of Health says there are over 1,300 children and adolescents with diabetes in the island nation. Life for a Child will provide the Diabetes Association of Jamaica with diabetes supplies, including insulin and glucose monitoring devices, to support over 200 children with diabetes in the first phase of the programme.

“The program illustrates how precisely focused external support can help dedicated local diabetes services provide quality care, so children and adolescents stay alive and remain well,” said Graham Ogle, Program Manager of Life for a Child.

It is hoped that these initial foundations in Jamaica will lead to a greater involvement of the Program within the entire Caribbean region. By the end of the year, Life for a Child will be helping some 5,000 children in 25 developing countries. Talks are already underway to launch the program in Barbados, where funding for children’s diabetes care is greatly needed.

IDF and Life for a Child are committed to addressing the issues of affordability and accessibility that separate the 240,000 children with diabetes in the developing world from essential diabetes care, supplies and education. Visit www.lifeforachild.org to find out how you can support the Program and save the lives of children with diabetes around the world.