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Life with diabetes is complicated. 
Access to vital insulin, diabetes supplies and medical care should not be.

Our Vision

We believe in a world where everyone with type 1 diabetes – no matter where they live – has everything they need to survive and achieve their dreams.

Our Mission

We work towards adequate access to insulin, diabetes supplies, medical care and education for all people living with type 1 diabetes. We do this by raising awareness, campaigning and collaborating with existing initiatives, and supporting individuals and organisations on the ground that are working to make life better for people with type 1 diabetes.

About the issue

According to a recent WHO report, as of 2014 an estimated 422 million adults were living with diabetes around the world. The same report notes that separate global estimates of diabetes prevalence for type 1 and type 2 do not exist. This lack of data around type 1 diabetes in and of itself is a big problem.

If we apply the type 1 prevalence rate of the UK, where 10% of people with diabetes have type 1, we can estimate that more than 40 million people around the world live with type 1 diabetes. The International Diabetes Federation does make an estimate of 542,000 children living with type 1 diabetes globally (2015). However, we believe this is an underestimate because of all of the children who die before diagnosis.

What we do know for certain is that a large proportion of these people with diabetes live in places with inadequate healthcare. This means there are likely hundreds of thousands of people (or more) facing death due to lack of insulin.

Prices for insulin and diabetes management are completely unaffordable to many people living with the condition.

  • 50% of people around the world in need of insulin cannot reliably access it because it is unavailable, unaffordable, or both (2015)
  • The average annual per-patient cost of insulin in the USA has increased from $231 to $736 in the last 10 years (2016)
  • In Syria, up to 77% of income can be spent on diabetes supplies (2016)
  • Monthly costs for diabetes supplies in Brazil can be as much as $700, or 82% of a person’s income (2016)
  • In Fiji, up to 80% of the average monthly income can be spent on diabetes costs (2016)
  • Full diabetes management in Kenya could cost about $120 per month, but the average monthly salary in Kenya is $216 (2016)
  • In the USA, discontinuation of insulin use was the leading cause of diabetic ketoacidosis in 68% of people in a US inner city setting (2011)

What is T1International doing to address these problems?

Our work currently covers four areas:

  • We remain people-focused by sharing the voices of those living with type 1 diabetes around the world to raise awareness of the issues
  • We serve as a knowledge hub to give a clear picture of the issues, offer resources, and signpost people and organisations to further information that can support them
  • We dig deep into the problems of lack of access to diabetes supplies, care and treatment to push for and collect the best data and statistics around these issues to ensure we are tackling the problems in the best way and reaching the most underserved populations
  • We campaign for systemic change and support existing campaigns so that our vision becomes a reality

Still have questions? You can download our Strategic Plan here.

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