Never before have families been able to meet one another and learn from their shared experiences of Type 1 Diabetes in Laos. On June 14th and June 15th, 2019, more than 50 participants joined an A4D camp from across the country. It included 24 young people with the condition.
Together, they met with Dr Phisith Phoutsavath, Director of Mahosot Hospital, and Dr Khonesavanh Laungxay, Head of the Paediatric Department, alongside other health professionals.
Creative sharp-bins for Type 1 Diabetes needles
Recycling plastic water bottles has never been so fun! All the participants enjoyed creating sharp-bins for disposing of Insulin and blood testing needles.
By making the process fun and allowing the young people we support to show their artistic abilities, we encourage them to take ownership of the process and pride in safe practice.
Healthy snacks and exercise
Both a healthy diet and regular exercise are key components to successful Type 1 Diabetes management.
One of the main activities on the day was to teach new recipes to young people with Type 1 Diabetes and their families. Diet control is particularly crucial in Laos as the staple food is Sticky Rice.
Sticky Rice has a very high glycemic rating, meaning that it contains a high level of sugar that is absorbed in the blood system very quickly. This can cause sugar levels to spike dangerously. Over an extended period, this damages the delicate blood vessels in the body, leading to many unpleasant health complications.
However, at the ‘A4D Diabetes Family Camps’, we teach the children how to make healthy, alternative snacks. As well as this, we encourage regular exercise, and demonstrate through blood tests before and after they exercise, how it is an excellent tool to help manage blood sugar levels.
A talk from Kelley Khamphouxay from ‘Save the Children’ to people with Type 1 Diabetes in Laos
An A4D Diabetes Family Camp is, of course, not just about children but about parents too. Managing Type 1 Diabetes at times must be a team effort, and it is crucial that parents understand their children’s condition well and its challenges.
One of the challenges that must be acknowledged is the broader impact that Type 1 Diabetes has on the family. Often, the pressure of the condition can put strains on relationships.
Kelly Khamohouxay’s speech focused on the importance of ‘positive communication.’ Between family members, maintaining a positive attitude gives the person with Type 1 Diabetes the confidence to not just manage their condition, but to be ambitious and seak to reach their potential.
A big thank you to our partners in Laos!
Action4Diabetics (A4D) now support 28 young people with Type 1 Diabetes in Laos, providing them with free access to Insulin and blood testing equipment.
A massive THANK YOU to our partners at Mahosot Hospital and our volunteers from Luang Prabang Laos Friends Hospital for Children, Shrewsbury International School, Vientiane International School and University of Health Science Vientiane.
Without this support, the work we do would not be possible! So a big thank you from the children and families that we support.