Kerala to Provide Free Insulin Pumps for Diabetic Kids

The Kerala state government has decided to provide insulin pumps free of cost to diabetic children. This is in view of the huge increase in number of diabetic cases among children in Kerala and the exorbitant medical costs involved. The decision was taken in the Cabinet meeting held on Wednesday.

Chief Minister Oommen Chandy said that free insulin pumps would be provided to diabetic children irrespective of whether they belonged to BPL or APL categories. The pumps cost between two to four lakh rupees.

“Insulin pumps are the most reliable way to combat diabetes among children. Most of the families find it difficult to afford the huge cost of insulin pump,” said Oommen Chandy.

There is still the recurring cost though, since insulin needs to be refilled and needles changed frequently. It adds up to around Rs 10000 every month.

Rough estimates put the number of children with Type 1 diabetes in the state at around 5000 and insulin pumps are best way to control it. Type 1 diabetes, usually diagnosed in children and young adults, develops when body does not produce insulin, and, unlike in Type 2 diabetes, sugar levels go up and down like a rollercoaster. Consequences can be serious if not treated properly. The children who suffer from such diabetics require a minimum of four insulin shots daily.

Insulin pump
Insulin pump

How it works

Insulin pump is a device to administer insulin in a continuous manner. Rapid acting insulin is filled inside the pump. A small tube connects the pump to the surface of abdomen or it can be attached on the front portion of thigh. A small plastic needle under the skin infuses insulin continuously. Insulin is released drop by drop and it mimics the normal secretion from a healthy pancreas.

The scheme will be implemented through the Department of Social Justice and Minister for Social Welfare M K Muneer has been entrusted to hold discussions with the suppliers.