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In the east of Ukraine, there are more children with diabetes than in other regions


World Diabetes Day is held on November 14 each year. Alas, this disease is a threat that spares neither adults nor children, everyone may face it. The disease fundamentally changes a person's life: measuring the blood sugar level, strict diet and restrictions in products, dependence on expensive medications - these are the circumstances of diabetic patents' life.

Diagnosis. 14-year-old Fedir Nahirny knows all these circumstances very well. He was born quite healthy, and remained like that until the winter of 2013, when he suddenly came down with the flu, which caused a serious complication. First the doctors did not diagnose him with diabetes mellitus. It was not until in a few months, after the boy had become very nervous during the school final attestation and was checked-into a hospital again, that the doctors finally realized that it was not just a matter of the boy’s being immune to glucose...

The Nahirnys live in Kramatorsk of the Donetsk region, they are internally displaced persons from Donetsk, where their house was in the most dangerous Kyivsky district. The war came with explosions and hostilities at the Donetsk airport with the airplanes droning over the city. As soon as an academic year was over, the family left to the seaside. However, they have never ever returned home anymore. The family settled down at Diana’s parents’ in Kramatorsk.

“I found over the Internet that Rinat Akhmetov Humanitarian Center provides people with products and medications. We received product packages as well, and then I found the information about “Medications for Children” programme”, Diana Nahirna says. “Fedir has to measure his blood sugar level five times a day before each meal to calculate the dose of insulin. While in Donetsk, before the war, I bought wholesale boxes with test strips, now we are faced with the fact that one package of 300 hryvnias lasts for 10 days. Plus, we pay a rented apartment, which also takes a lot of money now... So, this help is invaluable for us!”

Incidence of the disease. The expert of the Ministry of Health of Ukraine on pediatric endocrinology, doctor of medical sciences Natalia Zelynska told Today that there is a trend of the growing incidence and prevalence of diabetes in the country over the last 10 years, especially among children under 6 years old.

“While in 2013 in Ukraine there were 8,629 children under the age of 17 suffering from diabetes, now, without taking into account the Crimea and parts of the Donetsk and Luhansk regions, it is 8,847 children,” Zelynska explained. “The highest incidence of diabetes among children has always been in the eastern industrial regions of Ukraine. This is due to a lot of negative environmental factors: the state of the environment, which is adversely affected by industrial enterprises, high stress level, dietary habits, low level of physical activity of children. However, this is the world trend and we are not unique. The leader of the sad statistics in 2016 was Kharkiv region, followed by Luhansk, Dnipro, Donetsk and Zaporizhzhia, and the least affected by diabetes is Volyn, Rivne, Zhytomyr, Odesa and Transcarpathian regions.”

According to Rinat Akhmetov Center specialists’ monitoring, children with epilepsy, asthma and diabetes found themselves in a critical situation in the Donetsk and Luhansk regions. To get free medications, they need to leave the ATO zone and make a long way of the new registration on the controlled territory. Under the Humanitarian Center’s “Medications for Children” project, all the children under 18 living in the uncontrolled territory of Donbas as well as in peaceful parts of the Donetsk and Luhansk regions are systematically provided with test strips, anticonvulsants and anti-asthmatics.