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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.