Diabetes Care: Insulin Pens and Stories of Resilience
Siwar is a six-year-old girl, is being treated for type 1 diabetes by the Medecins sans Fronteires (MSF) medical team in Arsal, a town in north-eastern Lebanon.
Living with constant anxiety, Siwar’s father shares the experience of many parents whose children are living with type 1 diabetes and who must, therefore, inject insulin every day simply to stay alive.
Diabetes is a complicated disease that requires meticulous care. People living with type 1 diabetes need to regularly inject insulin daily to stay alive and healthy for the rest of their lives. Sudden imbalances in blood sugar levels, if not monitored, can have serious complications and long-term side effects. Type 1 disease impacts people of all ages, including infants, children, and adolescents, making it difficult for both parents or caregivers and patients alike to adapt to this lifelong chronic disease.
Since 2022, MSF introduced insulin pens as part of the care provided for patients living with diabetes in our clinics in Arsal and Hermel, in the northeast of Lebanon, to ease an aspect of the challenges individuals with diabetes face. Insulin pens, unlike traditional syringes, come pre-filled, eliminating the need to draw insulin from vials and simplifying the process. With a dial or push-button mechanism, precise dose adjustments reduce the risk of inaccurate dosing and potential complications. The compact, robust, and portable nature of insulin pens benefits individuals on the go, like displaced populations or refugees, enhancing adherence to treatment plans. Their use improves adherence and quality of life, especially for challenging cases such as children and adolescents managing diabetes.
Explore more stories from patients and staff about how these changes have not only improved medical outcomes but also enhanced the quality of life for those living with chronic conditions.