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Diabetes drive to help young Bahrainis

Manama, March 10, 2012

An initiative to raise money for special insulin devices that could help more than 1,000 Bahraini children born with diabetes was launched last night.

Campaigners want children with type-one insulin dependent diabetes to have insulin pumps, rather than multiple daily injections by syringe or pen.

The project is being spearheaded by the Bahrain Diabetes Society (BDS), under the patronage of Al Mabarra Al Khalifia chairwoman Shaikha Zain bint Khalid Al Khalifa.

It called for sponsors to support the project at a dinner held at Shaikha Hessa Girls School in Riffa.

"The campaign is to raise money for insulin pumps which replace the need for children to inject themselves," said BDS member and Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland-Medical University of Bahrain (RCSI-MUB) nursing lecturer Danah Smith.

"The pump is much easier for children to control and gives them a better quality of life."

Each pump costs BD2,500 ($6631) but between BD50 and BD100 is required per month for medication, insulin and supplies. Organisers are set to launch a summer campaign for the initiative in May and June.

Those wishing to donate can directly send money to the BDS National Bank of Bahrain account number 89041623 or contact 34119737.

The launch coincides with a three-day annual camp for children with diabetes, which concludes at 4pm today at the Bahrain Sailing Club, Al Jazayir Beach.

More than 50 children are taking part in the 13th Sherooq Camp, which is organised by the BDS under the patronage of Health Minister Sadiq Al Shehabi. It is supported by the ministry, BDF Hospital and RCSI-MUB.

The main sponsors are Kuwait Finance House, GPIC and Banagas. The children, aged four to 12, are from Bahrain, Qatar and the UAE.

The camp included a field trip to Shaikha Hessa Girls School, which was organised by Bahrain Women Association for Human Development's Kind Tree Group in collaboration with All for Bahrain.

The children drew paintings to reflect their management of diabetes which will be made into postcards and sold to raise awareness about the condition.

The youngsters learned how to handle the disease and prevent complications through games, recreational and educational activities, sports, yoga, art workshops and sharing experiences.

"Before children were ashamed to talk about diabetes and there used to be a negative stigma but this has changed through education and awareness," said Smith.

"Children are becoming more outspoken and know they can do whatever they want in life. Some of them are athletes and diabetes doesn't affect cognitive abilities," she added.-TradeArabia News Service




Tags: Bahrain | Diabetes | awareness |

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