Bucharest, April 11, 2018 – Starting August 2017, more than 150 children with insulin-dependent diabetes from 27 counties benefit from modern monitoring with the help of a telemedicine system, unique in Romania, allowing them to get rid of the daily needle pricking for blood glucose monitoring. The solution, which is an international breakthrough, was implemented at the first Telemedicine Center for Pediatric Diabetes in Romania, developed by the Diabetes Support Association. The project received support from the Vodafone Romania Foundation, through the „Connecting for Good” program, for the purchase and use of monitoring equipment, with the funding allocated by Vodafone Romania Foundation amounting to more than 270,000 lei.
„Children can now live a normal life, thanks to the telemedicine system that allows remote real-time monitoring of blood glucose levels for each one of them. The Telemedicine Center for Pediatric Diabetes provides European standard treatments for the little patients with insulin-dependent diabetes, contributing to the improvement of the quality of their lives. Children acquire a high degree of autonomy, they can go on trips or camps, they can stay overnight at their friends and do what all healthy children normally do, activities which, in the absence of this technology, would be unimaginable for a child with diabetes”, Angela Galeța, Director of the Vodafone Romania Foundation.
„The results of our projects speak for the need of blood sugar sensors to be available to all children with insulin-dependent diabetes. What started as a pilot, with the support of the Vodafone Romania Foundation, should be replicated at national level. The Diabetes Support Association has been advocating this idea for the past two years. We now have evidence that these devices truly work, we have created the necessary infrastructure to monitor the children and facilitate communication between healthcare professionals and the caregiver. It is time to take this project to the next level, so that all children with insulin-dependent diabetes can benefit from these devices, „said Dr. Mihaela Vlăiculescu, President of the Diabetes Support Association.
In the absence of monitoring with help of the new telemedicine system, the life of a child with insulin-dependent diabetes means at least 4-5 daily insulin shots, each of which is preceded by a needle prick in the finger for blood glucose measuring. Some more needle pricks are required between meals, during playtime, during the night, in an effort to capture dangerous blood glucose fluctuations and prevent blood glucose fluctuation emergencies. In order to accomplish this daily task, the parents of insulin-dependent children often give up their careers just to be around their children, at home, at play, at the kindergarten, so that their children can engage in everyday activities.
The telemedicine center for pediatric diabetes was set up in 2017. The telemedicine system implemented at the center has an impact especially in technologically and socially disadvantaged areas where people’s access to quality health care services is difficult.
The partnership between the Vodafone Romania Foundation and the Diabetes Support Association started in June 2015. The Foundation’s support for insulin-dependent children included the acquisition of over 90 blood glucose monitoring sensors and 20 wireless insulin pumps. The total amount of the funding granted in the three years of partnership amounts to over 1.6 million lei. Among the activities carried out during this period are several diabetes management information sessions, run for approximately 200 parents.
Connecting for Good, the program through which the Vodafone Romania Foundation has supported the Telemedicine Center for Pediatric Diabetes, is funding projects that use technology to improve people’s lives and generate change in the society.
The Vodafone Romania Foundation is a Romanian nongovernmental charitable organization, established in 1998, which operates separately and independently from the Vodafone Romania SA’s business. During its 20 years of activity, Vodafone Romania Foundation has funded 1,104 programs run by 706 NGOs throughout the country, in the fields of healthcare, education and social services. These projects had a total of 2.7 million beneficiaries – children, young and old people and physically, socially or economically disadvantaged people. So far, Vodafone Romania has invested over 28 million euros in projects run by nonprofit partner organizations. More details about the Foundation’s programs are available at fundatia-vodafone.ro, http://jurnaldebine.fundatia-vodafone.ro/ and www.facebook.com/fundatiavodafone.
The Diabetes Support Association (www.sprijinpentrudiabet) is a non-governmental organization whose primary goal is to facilitate access of patients with insulin-dependent diabetes mellitus to quality medical care services by offering medical, educational, emotional support, as well as access to state-of-the-art technology that can bring relief and a higher degree of independence to the life of the insulin-dependent children and young people. Thanks to its volunteer its medical staff, the Association is a pioneer in introducing in the diabetologist’s medical practice in Romania of blood glucose sensors and by integrating the sensor monitoring results in the insulin therapy.