Children who are living with diabetes in Ijara, Mbalambala and Daadab Sub-counties in Garissa County who are under 21 will be among the first beneficiaries of a Ksh.42.5 Million programme funded by Safaricom Foundation.The three-year programme will focus on addressing early detection, comprehensive care and Health Care System strengthening as well setting up model child-friendly diabetes clinics.

Currently, the World Health Organisation estimates that 26% of bed occupancy in hospitals in Kenya consist of diabetic patients while 50 % of kidney patients are found to be suffering from diabetes.

Joe Ogutu, Safaricom Foundation Chairman, had this to say, “We will use this facility and community-based approach in addressing and managing diabetes in children. Our goal is to reduce premature mortality rates amongst the children and young adults with diabetes in the targeted regions. We will also train 30,000 community members on common signs of type 1 diabetes in children, sensitise teachers as well as develop and roll out an individualised tracking system.”

An estimated 478,000 Kenyans are living with diabetes 60% of whom are unaware. The burden of diabetes is progressively becoming common in children. It is estimated that the number of children living with diabetes is increasing at a rate of 3.5 % annually.