Insulin for Life – saving lives around the world

At Beta Change, we are passionate about supporting organisations that are making a difference in the diabetes community. One such organisation we support is Insulin for Life – a not-for-profit that planted its humble roots in Australia.

To date, Insulin for Life Australia has been honoured with several  international awards, including The International Diabetes Federation Award 2009 – “In Recognition of Outstanding Service to Diabetes”; The American Diabetes Association – Harold Rifkin Award for Distinguished International Service; The Lilly Partnership in Diabetes Global and Australian Awards; The Sir Philip Sherlock Distinguished Award and the Novo Nordisk Hagedorn Medal for Humanitarian Medical Assistance.

In this article, we were lucky to chat with Insulin for Life Australia about what their work.

How did Insulin for Life Australia come about?

In many countries, insulin can cost the user more than 50% of the average per capita annual income.  As a result, many people cannot afford their life-saving insulin, a critical problem in countries where the full, unsubsidised price is high and must be paid by the user, or the family, over many years or decades. Consequently, many adults and children die due to lack of insulin. Insulin for Life receives and redistributes donated in date, unopened and no longer needed insulin and other diabetes supplies to such countries.

“Many of these supplies would have otherwise been wasted. Instead they are saving many lives.” – Ron Raab OAM, Founder of Insulin for Life, Past Vice-President of the International Diabetes Federation 2000-2006. 

How does the collected insulin and diabetes supplies get redistributed?

These are sent following specific requests from recognised organisations and with an agreed protocol. Insulin for Life Australia usually receives the transport and handling costs from the recipient organisations or their supporters, making this a partnership and a sustainable program.

Insulin for Life also has a partnership with the International Diabetes Federation (IDF) both in response to emergency requests and on an ongoing basis with the IDF Life for a Child Sponsorship Programs. In an emergency, a few months’ supply may be all that is needed, giving a person time to replenish their ongoing supplies.

What else does Insulin for Life do?

In recent years, Insulin for Life Australia programs have expanded to include camps for children with diabetes in Ecuador and the Philippines where several camps are held each year. These may be the only source of diabetes education and meeting other children with Type 1 diabetes, which offers a source of great encouragement, support and fun. Insulin for Life Australia also supports the camps with diabetes supplies.

With the growth of Insulin for Life Australia, Insulin for Life Global has been created as a separate organisation with the aim of assisting in the coordination of activities of the Insulin for Life organisations that exist in 9 countries.

How can people find out more about Insulin for Life and collection points around the world?

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