On occasion of the International Day Against Violence and Bullying at School on November 4, the International Diabetes Federation (IDF), the International Society for Pediatric and Adolescent Diabetes (ISPAD) and IDF Members have called on Ministers of Education and Health in select countries across the world to implement the Kids and Diabetes in Schools (KiDS) project.
The latest IDF estimates indicate that type 1 diabetes affects over 1.2 million children, adolescents and young adults under the age of 20. People with type 1 diabetes need to inject insulin to survive. This can be a source of stigma – especially in the school environment. The general lack of awareness and understanding about the condition often leads to discrimination, which can be particularly difficult for the children and adolescents affected. In addition, type 2 diabetes – a condition which is often preventable and was until recently diagnosed mainly in adults – is on the rise in this age group due to increasingly sedentary lifestyles, also exacerbated by the Covid-19 pandemic.
KiDS – initiated by IDF and ISPAD in 2013 to improve understanding of diabetes management in the school environment and promote healthy habits to help prevent type 2 diabetes – has the potential to tackle diabetes-related stigma and prevent bullying that children living with diabetes often experience.
Letters sent by IDF, ISPAD and IDF Members request Ministries of Education and of Health to implement the KiDS project at the national level to:
- Improve knowledge of diabetes in the school environment among students and school staff.
- Improve understanding about the needs of students living with type 1 diabetes to foster a safe and supportive school environment.
- Protect children and adolescents living with type 1 diabetes from stigma, and prevent bullying.
- Support efforts to prevent type 2 diabetes by including education on nutrition, healthy food choices and healthy lifestyles in national school curricula.
The countries targeted include Austria, Ecuador, France, Maldives, New Zealand and Republic of Korea. The call to action has been supported by the following IDF Members in the respective countries:
- Aides aux Jeunes Diabétiques (AJD)
- Diabetes New Zealand
- Diabetes Society of Maldives
- Federación Ecuatoriana de Diabetes (FEDIABTES)
- Fundación Aprendiendo a Vivir con Diabetes (FUVIDA)
- Fundación de Diabetes Juvenil del Ecuador (FDJE)
- Fundación Los Fresnos Casa de la Diabetes
- Korean Diabetes Association
- Östereichische Gesellschaft für Kinder- und Jugendheilkunde (ÖGKJ)