Storytelling time for kids with diabetes

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A non-governmental organisation focused on improving the quality of life of children living with diabetes in South Africa, has recently launched an educational DVD package and booklet, in an aim to increase diabetes awareness and management amongst children.

Kids & Care SA, in conjunction with Marang House, a Johannesburg-based children's home supporting those suffering from diabetes and chronic renal failure, launched the DVD package at the World Diabetes Conference in Cape Town on 5 December 2006.

"Based on experience from previous educational material developed for children, we have found educational material to be receptive to the messages to date," says Dr Jacobus van Dyk, chairperson of Kids & Care SA and an endocrinologist specialising in paediatric diabetes management.

"We believe we can contribute towards a better understanding of their condition if written and presented in a child-friendly style."

Produced with the input from endocrinologists and psychologists specialising in diabetes Type 1 treatment and education, the DVD package aims to inform parents, mentors and ultimately children (be the child diabetic or not), that diabetes is indeed a manageable condition.

It also encourages the reintegration of the child into the various social systems such as family and school, once they have been discharged from hospital.

Also launched at the conference was the Story of Snuffels, a storybook which features a rabbit suffering from diabetes. Originally a Dutch publication, the storybook aims to give practical advice to help young children cope with diabetes. It also contains an informative workbook that graphically explores the various ways of delivering insulin to the body.

More about diabetes and children

Diabetes mellitus is a serious chronic disease that is estimated to affect one in nine South Africans. Often referred to as the "silent epidemic", the disease is on the increase, yet many who live with diabetes do not deal with their symptoms, either because of ignorance or fear.

For children, living with diabetes can be humiliating and lead to a sense of alienation, often making the condition difficult to manage. If diagnosed late, serious complications can arise such as blindness, limb amputation or kidney failure.

Based on press releases issued by Kids & Care SA and Marang House. For more information, contact Kids & Care SA on 082 457 3768 (Dr Jacobus van Dyk) or Marang House on 082 813 7794 (Pieter Ernst Jr).

(Health24, December 2006)

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