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People diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes depend on insulin to stay alive. This podcast investigates what that means on a global level for low and middle-income communities. Listen in for how researchers like David Beran work to increase access to these tools necessary for life.

He explains

  • The mechanism of type 1 diabetes pathogenesis, including the classic symptoms and typical diagnosis scenario,
  • The basic necessities for insulin injections for diabetes and how those needs might be difficult to meet in various communities, and
  • The helpful work groups like Health Action International are doing to address type 1 diabetes and insulin injection needs across the globe. 

David Beran is a researcher and lecturer at the Geneva University Hospitals and has join forces with Health Action International to better serve global citizens with type 1 diabetes mellitus who lack adequate health care access and means to pay for supplies.

His three areas of focus include researching and improving access to insulin on a world-wide level, assessing health systems and their delivery of diabetes care, and how this care works on a daily, individual level. He explains that most of the management of this disease is outside the clinic, with around-the-clock care and attention. A type 1’s daily routine requires them to find the right balance between what they eat and how physically active they are, and how much insulin to deliver with both in mind: it’s a challenging balance that requires constant management.

He’s focused specifically on low and middle-income countries, where many people don’t have access to insulin.

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He’s working with his colleagues on getting these people the basics of survival, namely insulin, a means of injection, and a blood glucose monitor. He explains how varied this can be from country to country. For example, Nicaragua, the second poorest country in the Americas after Haiti, provides insulin to its people for free.

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However, access to care and the monitoring equipment still pose challenges. On the other extreme, in sub-Saharan Africa everything is paid for out of pocket. People have to buy their insulin and supplies and pay doctor costs. He explains how various initiatives and NGOs are trying to address these problems and what challenges lay ahead.

Listen in to hear about substantial and exciting work to help those that suffer from this disease.

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For more information, email him with questions at and see Health Action International.

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