A gamechanger for diabetes care in refugee settings

World diabetes day
8 Feb 2021

For far too long, we were unable to send people with diabetes back to their homes with insulin due to its cold storage requirements. Some of these people were travelling long distances daily and some even relocated to get their insulin injections at the clinic.

With this new finding of no refrigeration requirement in a climate of up to 37 degrees and with a well-developed patient education and support programme, people with diabetes in resource limited and humanitarian settings will now be able to inject themselves in their homes greatly improving the significant disruption to their lives from having to attend hospital for twice-daily injections. The ability to self-inject insulin is a fundamental aspect of diabetes self-management and the ability of people with diabetes to be empowered for their health.

We now call for a consensus statement endorsed by the World Health Organization (WHO) to support the use of locally produced cooling devices for the home storage of insulin in order to dispel the notion that refrigeration is needed in every situation.

Additionally, we hope that pharmaceutical corporations would urgently submit to regulatory authorities for use of insulin under expanded temperature ranges. It is time to ensure that everyone who needs insulin, regardless of where they live, can access it. For too many people living with diabetes, life is difficult enough without this burden.

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