What is diabetes? (*excerpt taken from Diabetes Manual for Parents)

DIABETES in children (type 1 diabetes) occurs when the pancreas is unable to make enough insulin. Insulin is a hormone which allows the body to use glucose in the blood as energy. The glucose in the blood comes from the food we eat. In a person with diabetes the blood glucose level rises because of the lack of insulin- and the person becomes unwell with the symptoms of diabetes which may include excessive thirst- excessive urination- weight loss and dehydration. Type 2 diabetes is a different form of diabetes from Type 1 Diabetes, and is less common in children.

Life for children with Diabetes in resource-poor countries is extremely difficult, as access to affordable insulin and health care is beyond the means of most families. If you are interested in finding out more, Life for a Child have produced a very moving film about this issue - we would encourage you to watch it.

More information on Diabetes