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FOUR YEAR-OLD BOY WITHDRAWN FROM A PRIVATE SCHOOL FOR HAVING TYPE 1 DIABETES


Press Release Guerreros Azules Calls on Educational Sector to Learn About Type 1 Diabetes Caracas, Venezuela – The NGO Guerreros Azules is calling on the educational sector in Venezuela to learn about type 1 diabetes and to accept education on the condition. The organization's plea comes after a 4-year-old boy with type 1 diabetes was withdrawn from the U.E.P. Instituto Escuela in Caracas. School authorities argued to the mother that they did not know what they were doing when they accepted him. Guerreros Azules believes that this is a flagrant violation of the child's right to health and education. "A 30-minute talk would have calmed down the mood due to the misinformation about type 1 diabetes," said Martha Palma Troconis, journalist and General Coordinator of Guerreros Azules. "We urge the educational sector to inform about the condition and to accept to be educated about it." Guerreros Azules has been implementing a program called Blue Day for the past year, which consists of giving informative talks about type 1 diabetes to both students and teachers. However, a significant percentage of schools are reluctant to receive the information because they believe that by receiving it they are the ones who must bear the burden of managing the condition. "In some cases, the Children's Council has had to require the institution to give the talks because, in the first instance, they do not want to receive it," said Troconis. "There are also schools that in the first interview to accept a child when they learn that he/she has type 1 diabetes, the interview is only about this topic and then they do not accept the child, which shows the deep misinformation about the condition."


Supplies are still in short supply Guerreros Azules is also concerned about the shortage of supplies for people with type 1 diabetes in Venezuela. For three years, the organization has reported on the shortage of test strips in the public sector and to a lesser extent of insulin, particularly in the interior of the country. "When the strips are available, they have 2 or 3 years of expiration, causing problems in managing the condition such as hypoglycemia and hyperglycemia sustained over time that can lead the patient to ketoacidosis and finally to intensive care," said Troconis. "We have also observed how insulins arrive intermittently to hospitals throughout the country, but with a short expiration date. This shows a lack of planning in the management of supplies."


Cost of purchasing food In addition to the shortage of supplies, Guerreros Azules is also concerned about the high cost of food and the impact it is having on people with type 1 diabetes. A nationwide survey conducted by the organization in October 2023 found that 63 percent of people with type 1 diabetes in Venezuela did not eat enough food and that 33 percent of the diabetes community stopped eating because they gave food to a child in the house.

"The Path of the Warrior" Despite the challenges, Guerreros Azules is committed to supporting people with type 1 diabetes in Venezuela. As every year, Guerreros Azules is taking underprivileged children to celebrate World Diabetes Day. The activity is called El Camino del Guerrero.120 children and their parents are invited to spend a day of fun, information, and sharing with their peers at the Shangrilá camp in Caracas on November 19. Children from other states of the country will also be coming to enjoy this unique event.

Media Contact: Martha Palma Troconis Journalist and General Coordinator of Asociación Civil Guerreros Azules +58 4120152550

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