Nitya Asha offers hope to poor children with type 1diabetes

Type 1 diabetes has not only been claiming lives of adults but that of childrens too. Worst hit are underprivileged children, who often succumb to the illness before it is detected in them. To cater to these children, NGO Nitya Asha has opened a centre at Lunkad Skymax in Viman Nagar.

"We are looking at children who may die without insulin," said Dr Vaman Khadilkar, a leading paediatric endocrinologist from the city, who has been roped in by Nitya Asha for guidance and advice.

"Thirty years ago, the incidence of type 1 diabetes was one patient every three to four years. The number has escalated to 8 patients per thousand over the years," said Khadilkar.

Khadilkar has come across over 500 type 1 diabetic children during his practice.

He said insulin, diabetes monitoring, proper diet and awareness are the "four pillars of type1 diabetes" that can address the problem.

Nitya Asha seeks to help the section of society that lacks resources for all the above mentioned requisites for diabetes control since a year's medical expenditure on a patient hovers around Rs 30,000.

"A doctor's contribution to a type 1 diabetic is 10 per cent, the rest depends on proper monitoring by people whom he is with," said Khadilkar.

Nitya Asha steps in here as a permanent caregiver. "The organisation monitors these children between their visits to the doctor. A child with type 1 diabetes may undergo unforeseen heath complications and our volunteers are just a call away," said Farook Merchant, one of the founders of Nitya Asha.

The NGO's plan of action for 200 type1 diabetic underprivileged children it intends to help is four-pronged.

"We seek to give children a direct delivery of medical services, inclusive of insulin, free-of-cost. We are establishing a 24x7 helpline for queries and emergencies, bi-weekly health check-ups at our centre and activities we will be organising for children and parents," said Merchant.

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