“This equipment changed my son’s life” – Noah can live an active life despite type 1 diabetes
Government will continue to fund equipment that has been used to test children under 16 with type 1 diabetes.
Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Health Chris Fearne said the pilot project which will be completed in the next few weeks was a success. The device measures your blood sugar level all the time – day and night – without the need for a finger sting each time. The measurements are transmitted directly on the mobile phones of the children, parents and the medical team caring for these children with diabetes.
Nearly a year ago, Noah Attard was diagnosed with diabetes.
His father, Noel, explained that at first this came as a shock to him, due to limitations that diabetes could have placed on his ten-year-old son’s life. Today however, with small devices for continuous monitoring of the sugar attached to his belly, the child is free to be as active as other children his age. With this device, his blood sugar levels are constantly transmitted on his mobile phone. If it increases or decreases rapidly, it gets noticed immediately.
“When my cell phone rings, and it’s low I have a glass of milk and when it’s high I do the exercises. For example when I’m at school and it’s high I ask the teacher if I can go and do my exercises and if it’s low I tell her to give us crackers or juice. ”
The same alert is also sent to parents, even if they are not close to their children, so they can track their children’s sugar levels at any time of the day.
While Noah was playing and running, his father showed us his son’s sugar level at that time. He told us that this equipment has changed his son’s life.
He also said that with this equipment they can further control the sugar levels and thus reduce the risk of future health complications.
“There’s a test called HbA1C that shows you your sugar levels, how many times it was checked in the last three months and thanks to Dexcom we actually managed to bring it down to 6.2 , which is very good.
Noah is one of about 180 children under the age of 16 who were given this equipment on trial for six months last February.
Diabetes counselor in children, Dr. John Torpiano, acknowledged the success of this equipment and explained how the information gathered reaches doctors as well.
“We have established protocols that if the sugar level is too high to be dangerous or very low to be dangerous there is a call centre that monitors the levels and sends us certain messages to what we will pay attention promptly. ”
Dr Torpiano said that the rate of new cases of type 1 diabetes in Maltese children is among the highest in Europe. Last year alone new cases increased by almost 50%.
The Malta Diabetes Association has welcomed the news that this equipment will continue to be provided by the Government to children and adolescents up to 16 years of age and appealed that it be given to all first type diabetics due to possible complications.