Amidst all the harrowing images of the refugee crisis, it’s easy to forget how many are living with diabetes. And how few have access to the treatment they need.

It’s an incredibly difficult situation, but it’s not a hopeless one; you can help. Here are just a few things you can do to help.

Raghad Hasoun refugees
Raghoud Hasoun, the 11-year-old Syrian refugee who died after her insulin was thrown overboard
Share stories

It was the tragic photo of Aylan Kurdi that grabbed the world’s attention and illuminated the terrible reality of the refugee crisis. His story has been shared across the world, covering all forms of media.

But his is not the only story. In July, 11-year-old Syrian refugee Raghad Hasoun died at sea as a result of uncontrolled diabetes. Her parents had carefully packed her insulin into two separate bags, and, after crossing 300 metres of head-height water, made it to the boat. There, the traffickers, armed with assault rifles, ordered them to throw the supplies overboard.

Raghad died after five days.

Stories like these can lead to real change. Share Raghad’s story, and stories like it, and raise awareness of the issue of diabetes management during a humanitarian crisis.

Urge the government to do more to help people with diabetes

It’s not unheard of for governments to help people with diabetes during times of crisis. When a devastating earthquake hit Nepal in April, Indian Minister of State and Professor of Diabetes and Endocrinology Dr. Jitendra Singh organised the delivery of 75,000 vials of free insulin to those affected by the crisis.

There’s no reason another government couldn’t do something similar this time around. Write to your MP, start a petition – let the government know about the diabetes problem, and urge them to do something about it.

Write to humanitarian organisations, asking them to prioritise diabetes

Emergency medical kits dispatched by humanitarian organisations during times of crisis don’t contain insulin. If you care about seeing refugees with diabetes getting the medical help they need, contact humanitarian organisations. Ask them what they do for people with diabetes.

How else can we help refugees with diabetes? Share your ideas in the comments.

Send money to Médecins Sans Frontières

Médecins Sans Frontières is making a huge effort to get refugees the medical treatment they need. And, unlike many humanitarian organisations, they’re treating people with diabetes. Over on their website, you can read the heartbreaking stories of refugees with diabetes and learn more about what exactly they’re doing to help.

Some information adapted from:

Get our free newsletters

Stay up to date with the latest news, research and breakthroughs.