The Star (Nairobi)

Kenya: Government to Provide Free Insulin for Diabetic Children

Ministry of Public Health and Sanitation has launched a new program that will see Children with Type 1 diabetes access free insulin at public hospitals. The Changing Diabetes in Children CDiC program was launched on Tuesday at the Rift Valley provincial general hospital that will see Kenya become the ninth country in Africa to avail free insulin for diabetic children.

The program will also seek to provide other basic diabetic care to patients as well as patient and parent education and training for healthcare professionals. The initiative being rolled out this year aims at enrolling 175 children through the Kenya Diabetes Management and Information Center (DMI). The programme involves the setting up of five dedicated paediatric diabetes clinics for diagnosis and treatment of children with type 1 diabetes.

In his speech at the function, Director of Medical Services Dr Benedict Osore said diabetes mellitus was emerging as a chronic non-communicable disease of public concern. "Today there is over 285 million people suffering from diabetes globally while 3.6 million die each year due to the disease, in Kenya 4.2 percent of the population has diabetes," said Osore. He said 5-10 percent of people living with diabetes are children and adolescents.

Dr Waihenya who is the head, division of Non-Communicable diseases at the Ministry of Public Health and Sanitation said that currently, children with diabetes are managed primarily by adult diabetes clinics or general medical outpatient clinics. "There exist a challenge in comprehensive management of children with diabetes," said Dr Waihenya. The initiative which is jointly implemented by Novo Nordisk and the Ministries of public health and sanitation and ministry of Medical Services.

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