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Diabetes: An unseen humanitarian emergency

28 Apr 21

Diabetes: An unseen humanitarian emergency

It’s 100 years since the discovery of insulin, the life-saving drug for people living with diabetes.

But today, more than half of those who need this marvellous medicine still can’t access it – either because it’s too expensive or unavailable. This means millions of people are risking serious complications and even death.

In this episode of Everyday Emergency, we examine the challenges facing those diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes living through crises such as conflict, displacement or disaster.

We hear from Farah Haris, who was working to treat diabetic patients in the fallout of last year’s devastating Beirut explosion. We also speak to chronic disease expert Amulya Reddy on how MSF is finding innovative new ways to help patients and challenge the three “Big Pharma” corporations controlling the insulin market.

MSF and non-communicable diseases

Diabetes, high blood pressure and asthma are common conditions that may not seem like humanitarian emergencies.

However, when conflict, disaster or mass displacement leave patients cut-off from their care, the everyday can fast become life-threatening.