Country Stories

Empowering young people with diabetes in Kyrgyzstan


World Diabetes Foundation | 10 Feb 2020

Kyrgyzstan has made strides in treating type 1 diabetes in recent years. To name a few: the condition is now on a list of priority NCDs of the Kyrgyz Republic. The national health system covers all types of insulin for children and youth up to 29 years old, and a new mobile app for type 1 management has been developed and piloted.

Yet youth with type 1 diabetes in this central Asian country still face serious barriers. They range from stigma and lack of support at school to interruptions in insulin and glucose monitoring supplies. A recent study found that one-third of Kyrgyz children with type 1 diabetes develop diabetes complications before the age of 14. Among youth aged 19-24, the complication rate was 70%. 

“The complication rate among youth demonstrates the urgent need to improve type 1 diabetes care and self-management at the earliest stages,” says Mrs Nurhan Jumabaeva, director of the parent-led NGO Childhood without Diabetes, a WDF partner since 2016. 

To improve health outcomes for children and youth with type 1 diabetes in Kyrgyzstan, WDF’s 2020 fundraiser project will address four key aspects of their care:

  1. Self-management: The project will help young people better manage type 1 diabetes via training and camps
  2. Improved care: The project will support training for young people, their families, and their caregivers in how to use the new DiaBee mobile app and integrate it with Ministry of Health IT systems, improving communication between medical staff and patients
  3. Supportive school environments: The project will train teachers, nurses, social workers and psychologists how to support young people with type 1 diabetes, and equip schools with relevant supplies
  4. Advocacy: The project will advocate for patient’s rights and interests, both with government authorities and the wider public

The project will target two of Kyrgyzstan’s eight regions and be managed by Childhood without Diabetes. It will take place over 24 months (2020-22).

Its targets are:

  • Improved health outcomes for children and youth with type 1 diabetes
  • At least 60 children and youth in selected districts increase diabetes self-management skills 
  • At least 60 family members increase diabetes knowledge and skills
  • At least 20 children and youth attend Summer DiaCamp 
  • Routine monitoring of T1DM improved and app-based communication between HCPs and families enabled.
  • At least 12 school staff trained, and medical cabinets stocked with relevant supplies
  • Public and government sensitised to rights and needs of young people with diabetes via training of 20 teens as agents of change and media coverage about project activities

Learn more about WDF's fundraising programme