Thursday, 13 November 2014

world diabetes day

November the 14th is World Diabetes day, that means that all over the world (in theory) people stop and think about Diabetes. In practice it means that those of us with the luxury of access to information and free time and energy pay attention to diabetes for about 5 minutes. Please take your 5 minutes to read this:

Diabetes is a condition which, with access to insulin and testing supplies is of little impediment to my life. I'm very lucky to be able to travel, exercise and make a fool of myself every day despite the fact that my pancreas doesn't fo everything it should. Many organizations want your money for a cure for diabetes, that's very nice and I hope that they have every success in their work.

As a young(er) person I spent a lot of time travelling, if I had been born in another part of the world, my life would have been very different. Life expectancy with type one diabetes is 8 - 12 months in Mali. That's less than most cancers and even HIV in many places. Again Diabetes is a condition which is entirely treatable with access to insulin and supplies.

There is only one barrier between my reality and a very different one where i die at 18 years old. That barrier is access to medication, I have it and many don't but without it I'd be long gone. 3 companies make insulins, they all continue to practice olligopolisticaly in order to maintain a high and inaccessible price for insulin. As a result of this people die, every day.

you probably bought a poppy for armistice day, several rubber bracelets for something or other and a handful of pink things in October. I don't want you to light up any buildings in a funny colour or run 10k dressed in a silly costume or even wear a little ribbon. I just want you to engage with 100 campaign and to care about  the incredibly unjust pricing of medications in today's world. I say it a lot but nobody should be poor because they're sick or sick because they're poor. Please take a second longer to think about this, to exercise your empathy and to think about life on the other side of the access divide. Cures are great, but let's work with what we have first and make sure we share it with everyone who needs it before we create another inaccessible medication for a privileged few.   #wdd2014 #diabetes #wdd


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