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COVID-19 Response in India

Life for a Child is currently supporting 50 young people with type 1 diabetes in Kota, a city in Rajasthan, India, cared for at the Ramchandani Diabetic Clinic. Puneet is one of them. He has been supported by Life for a Child for nearly 10 years. Here are some photos of Puneet through the years.

 

 

 

 

 

 

In May 2017, as part of Dr. Lisa Ameto’s visit to the Ramchandani Diabetic Clinic she also visited Puneet’s home. Pictured here from left to right are Raunak Ramchandani, Puneet (standing), Dr. Lisa Ameto and Dr. G. D. Ramchandani.

 

 

 

 

In the context of the current COVID-19 pandemic, Kota, like many other cities across India is in a state of severe lockdown and curfews with whole communities are barricaded into “red zones”. Puneet lives deep in one of these zones and ran out of insulin and strips. He was completely cut off from accessing the essential supplies he relies on. Around the same time, a Life for a Child shipment of 2 months’ worth of insulin, stips, syringes, lancets, and also a new blood glucose monitor was received by Dr. Ramchandani’s clinic in Kota. However, due to lockdown restrictions, Puneet was unable to retrieve them.

 

With special permission from the local authorities, Dr. G. D. Ramchandani’s son, Raunak, travelled in scorching (47°C) heat across the locked-down city to the gates of Puneet’s zone. Under the supervision of armed guards, Raunak was able to pass the supplies through the barricade to Puneet.

 

 

Puneet has recently completed his NDEP Certificate course, making him a Certified Diabetes Educator. Puneet is an example of how children who receive support early and consistently in their diabetes journey, grow to give so much back to the type 1 community in their young adulthood. We are truly proud of Puneet and of our volunteers like Raunak, whose bravery and compassion have made a life-saving difference during the COVID-19 pandemic.

 

In response to the global impacts of COVID-19, Life for a Child has teamed up with JDRF and over twenty other like-minded organizations to identify shortages of essential diabetes supplies and mobilise support from around the world. You can read more about the COVID-19 Diabetes Supplies Coalition here: COVID-19 Coalition, and about the work of our volunteers Vikasith and Dinuka in Sri Lanka here: Sri Lanka COVID-19 Response.

COVID-19 Response in Sri Lanka

 

Life for a Child supports 100 young people living with type 1 diabetes cared for by the Diabetes Association of Sri Lanka. These children and adolescents mostly come from very poor families and so the insulin, meters and strips, education and medical guidance is critical support.

On 20th March 2020, the Sri Lankan government imposed an island-wide lockdown. The government health system then became very short of insulin.

In the face of extreme shortages during the lockdown in Sri Lanka some generous volunteers have risked their own safety to make home deliveries across the country.

Two of those volunteers were Vikasith and Dinuka, both IDF young leaders in diabetes, and both showing incredible courage in this difficult time. They volunteered to deliver essential supplies to 100 young people supported at the Diabetes Association of Sri Lanka. In this unprecedented restriction of movement within Sri Lanka the LFAC partner centre staff said it was heartwarming to see such genuine enthusiasm to help others just like themselves.

Dr. Wijesuriya writes – “It was indeed joyful to see their smiling faces every morning ready to start another gruelling day of travel.” The pair plotted routes, organised transport and supplies, and navigated a city gripped by fear and uncertainty.

Over 4 days and a journey of more than 2000km, Vikasith and Dinuka risked their lives to help those who were trapped at home, thus saving the lives of over 100 people living with type 1 diabetes. Dr. Wijesuriya said that if this insulin had not been delivered, the death toll due to hyperglycaemia may have surpassed that of COVID-19 itself.

In response to the global impacts of COVID-19, Life for a Child has teamed up with JDRF and over twenty other like-minded organizations to identify shortages of essential diabetes supplies and mobilise support from around the world. You can read more about the COVID-19 Diabetes Supplies Coalition here: COVID-19 Coalition.