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The new insulin pump has greatly assisted the SA family in the treatment of type 1 diabetes


Thomas Wridgeway with his mother Michelle. Picture: Attached
Cape Town – 11-year-old Thomas Wridgeway is like most fifth-grade students. She loves sports, especially running, cricket and hockey.

For the past eight years, Type 1 diabetes has a chronic and potentially life-threatening condition. He can not recover and needs a 24-hour management.

The latest Medtronic insulin pump, called minimed 670g, promotes the management of diabetes and reduces the burden on families who are trying to cope with the ups and downs of type 1 diabetes.

Type 1 diabetes can destroy the lives of those who try to control it. Diabetics need to inject a synthetic insulin or wear an insulin pump that releases insulin to the tissue to survive.

The parents of Type 1 diabetics usually wake up and check the sugar level in children at 2 pm. With the introduction of CGM and insulin pumps, technology changes life for diabetics and their families.

CGM devices measure the blood sugar level every few minutes with the help of a small sensor inserted under the skin, and the results can be sent wirelessly to the pump.

Thomas Wridgeway, 11, with his new insulin pump. Type 1 diabetes has been more than eight years old. Picture: Attached

Minimed 670g, developed in America, became accessible to South Africans earlier this month, and Wridgeway was the first child in the country he received.

His mother, Michelle, says this has changed their lives.

"When your child's health is in your hands, it creates a lot of stress," he says.

"But the transition from injections to the insulin pump changed our lives for us because he gave Thomas the control he needed. He was a needle-fobic and hostile injection.

"For me, when he went mined 670 g, he was the biggest influence on the night, because he had only overnight, much better control than we had before.

"And we sleep more, so we are less angry!"

In South Africa, the pump is not cheap, but the price is R56000.

The best options in health care schemes usually cover some of these costs, but Michelle says that the purchase still takes its tax financially.

"Fortunately, diabetes in South Africa is the minimum health condition for members of health care, so the very basic treatment is covered by a national or some basic hospital plan.

"If you want any of the newer technologies, you have to pay from your pocket and it can become expensive."

The pump automatically adjusts the amount of insulin it gives you. CGM sends your blood sugars to the pump every five minutes. The pump then reacts by increasing or decreasing the amount of insulin it supplies.

Thomas Wridgeway enjoys the freedom given by the new insulin pump. Picture: Attached

Pediatric endocronist dr. Danelle van der Merwe says that Type 1 diabetes is becoming increasingly widespread, especially in the age group 2 to 5, and when children suffer puberty, but no statistics are available in South Africa.

"Hopefully, we can get this in the future, where we can report children to see an increase. We are very busy in making a record. They try to do this in state hospitals but need to connect with private patients. "

Van der Merwe says that parents who can afford the latest technologies usually have better control over their child's diabetes.

"More financial resources can be invested by parents, better control over children, because they can get monitors. People in lower income classes and people who do not have medical devices can not continue with sensors and the latest technology. They must rely on piercing and older methods.

"I think the minidum 670g is fantastic. This is closest to the closed loop system that can be obtained, and I think we will see many improvements in the management of type 1 diabetes, especially in children. "

Dr. Lindsey Levin says she will give children more freedom.

"When children emphasize, especially at school and for mothers, they do not know what is happening when they are not with their children, they take care of falls, they take care of the ups.

"I think that caring for basal dose adjustment will be a great relief for the whole family and will allow children to do things they want to do, rather than thinking about what their blood sugar is all the time. "

African news agency

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