The International Diabetes Federation Life for a Child (LFAC) program improves diabetes care and education in some of the world’s poorest children, an analysis has confirmed.
The non-profit program is the first to show that improvement in long-term blood sugar control is possible for people with type 1 diabetes in sub-Saharan African youth.
The scientific evidence comes from a University of Pittsburgh Graduate School of Public Health analysis, which appeared in the journal Diabetes Research and Clinical Practice.
Providing type 1 diabetes care
Senior author Trevor Orchard, M.D., professor of epidemiology at Pitt Public Health, and his team followed 214 people under 25 who had enrolled in the LFAC program in Rwanda between June 2009 and November 2010.
They regularly measured HbA1c levels, finding the average HbA1c of Rwandan children was initially 11.2 per cent. This average fell to 9.8 per cent after two years in the program.
Children who were better able to monitor their blood sugar had better HbA1c levels, with a lack of testing supplies found in some cases to stop children from testing as regularly.
“It is very encouraging to see the Rwandan children get better control of their blood sugar levels thanks to this unique collaborative effort,” said Dr. Orchard.
“However, more work is needed. Only about 12 percent of the Rwandan children met American Diabetes Association glucose control goals, compared with 32 percent of U.S. children.”

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