Insulin like ‘gold’ for youngest diabetes patient

Mervin Chute, 2, and his mum Christine Maharaj. Picture: PEKAI KOTOISUVA

Two-year-old Mervin Chute is Fiji’s youngest Type 1 diabetes patient, says Diabetes Fiji Inc chairperson Taabish Akbar.

Diagnosed in early February, mum Christine Maharaj says insulin is like ‘gold’ for her son.

He would not survive without insulin, she said.

“If we miss one injection, his sugar levels get really high and he can get sick, he can start losing ketones and that can lead to him being in the hospital,” Ms Maharaj said.

“It’s not a pretty thing and we do not want to go through it again.”

Ms Maharaj said one of the challenges they faced was the lack of syringes.

“At the moment, we only have syringes for the elderly and not the kids.

“We’ve had to ask the diabetic hub if they’d have any and they’d give what they have. We’ve had to ask our families overseas as well and that is costly on its own.”

She said through Diabetes Fiji and help from companies such as Kontiki Finance, they were able to get the assistance they needed.

Meanwhile, Mr Akbar said Diabetes Fiji assisted and looked after the advocacy of diabetics in Fiji.

“We run camps every year, usually twice a year which we couldn’t do for the past two years because of COVID.

“This is to get them to interact and learn from the other kids with the same condition and it’s also for the parents so that they learn how to look after their kids as well.”

Type 1 diabetes, once known as ju­venile diabetes or insulin-depend­ent diabetes, is a chronic condition in which the pancreas produces lit­tle or no insulin.

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