Life for a Child

Partnership objectives

  1. Help children with diabetes in developing countries;
  2. Provide support to established diabetes centers to aid them in providing ongoing clinical care and diabetes education.

Seeking to achieve the best possible outcomes for children, the program focuses on improving access to insulin, syringes, blood glucose monitoring equipment, and appropriate clinical care. Seeking to achieve the best possible outcomes for children, the program focuses on improving access to insulin, syringes, blood glucose monitoring equipment, and appropriate clinical care. Copyright Life for a Child

What are the health needs and challenges?

The International Diabetes Federation’s (IDF) Diabetes Atlas estimates that approximately 1 million youth under the age of 25 have diabetes in the world. However, the estimates for numbers of children and youth in many developing countries are very uncertain due to lack of data. Additionally, in children and adolescents, type 2 diabetes is on the rise in all countries irrespective of socio-economic status. IDF estimates that 80,000-100,000 children and youth around the world are in urgent need of assistance.

Lack of access to insulin remains the most common cause of death in children with diabetes and the estimated life expectancy of a child with diabetes could be less than a year in some areas. While many children die undiagnosed, other deaths are linked to lack of insulin or expert care. In some countries, expert care is available but limited resources lead to serious complications and early adulthood deaths.

Description of partnership activities and how they address needs and challenges

The International Diabetes Federation "Life for a Child" Program was established in 2000 with support from the Australian Diabetes Council and HOPE worldwide. It is an innovative and sustainable support programme in which individuals, families and organisations contribute monetary or in-kind donations to help children with diabetes in developing countries.

The program appreciates that treating type 1 diabetes is generally complicated, but specific challenges in certain geographic areas make care even more difficult. Seeking to achieve the best possible outcomes for children, the program focuses on improving access to insulin, syringes, blood glucose monitoring equipment, and appropriate clinical care. The program also seeks to improve access to, HbA1c testing, diabetes education, and technical support for health professionals.

The formula is simple: contributions from donors go to established diabetes centres enabling them to provide the ongoing clinical care and diabetes education children need. The centers provide comprehensive clinical and financial feedback to the program management team in Sydney, Australia.

The program aims to provide:

  • Sufficient insulin and syringes
  • Blood glucose monitoring equipment
  • Appropriate clinical care
  • HbA1c testing
  • Diabetes education
  • Technical support for health professionals

Some centres need support for all these areas; others need support for only some components.

IDF Global partners are engaged in long-term multi-faceted partnerships with the Federation and support core activities and specifically tailored programs focusing on diabetes awareness, prevention, education and more.  For example, Lilly Diabetes has implemented the “Global Diabetes Conversations Program” to share experiences and best practices developed at regional congresses.  

The IDF Life for a Child program is currently helping over 18,000 chlidren and youth with diabetes in 46 countries. There are 20 countries with close to 100% coverage by Life for a Child. 


IDF Life for a Child Program

Partnership information

Company(ies) Boehringer Ingelheim , Eli Lilly and Company , Johnson & Johnson

Partner(s) ACON, Association Luxembourgeoise de Diab├Ęte, Associazione Medici Diabetologi, Australian Diabetes Council, BD (Becton Dickinson), Caring & Living as Neighbours (CLAN), Crumlin Diabetes Centre Parents Group, Deutsche Diabetes Gesellschaft, Diabetes Australia, Diabetes Hands Foundation, Diabetes Vereniging Nederland, Direct Relief, Finnish Diabetes Association, Fondation de l'Orangerie, Fondation of European Nurses in Diabetes, Helmsley Charitable Trust, Hope Worldwide, Insulin for Life, International Society for Pediatric and Adolescent Diabetes (ISPAD), Landmark Group, Lifescan, Marjorie's Fund, National Diagnostic Products, Nipro, Norge Diabetes Forbund, Novo Nordisk, Rotary International, Stiching Sugarfriends, Svenska Diabetesforbund, Timesulin

Type of Partner(s) NGOs, Other Business, Professional Associations

Therapeutic Focus Women and Children's Health, Non-Communicable Diseases

Disease(s) Children's Health, Diabetes

Program Type(s) Availability of Treatment - Financial Support, Availability of Treatment - Product Donations, Health System Infrastructure - Development of Physical Infrastructure, Health System Infrastructure - Training

Targeted Population(s) Children, Youth

Region(s) East Asia & Pacific, Europe & Central Asia, Latin America & Caribbean, Middle East & North Africa, South Asia, Sub-Saharan Africa, World

Number of Countries 45

Country(ies) Azerbaijan, Bangladesh, Bolivia, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Cambodia, Congo, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Fiji, Ghana, Guatemala, Guyana, Haiti, India, Iraq, Jamaica, Kenya, Liberia, Maldives, Mali, Mauritania, Mexico, Morocco, Nepal, Nigeria, Pakistan, Papua New Guinea, Philippines, Rwanda, Solomon Islands, Sri Lanka, St. Lucia, Sudan, Tajikistan, Tanzania, Togo, Uganda, Uzbekistan, Vietnam, Worldwide, Zimbabwe

Start Date 2000

More information International Diabetes Federation

Anticipated completion date Ongoing