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Case study: The KiDS project in India and Brazil

Fostering a supportive school environment for children with diabetes

Published: 13 Jan 2017

KiDS Project

Client: Sanofi, the International Diabetes Federation and the International Society for Pediatric and Adolescent Diabetes

Agency: Havas Life Medicom

Campaign: The KiDS project in India and Brazil

Timescale: N/A

A quick look

Diabetes prevalence is rising worldwide, and low- and middle-income countries such as India and Brazil are particularly impacted by this escalation. Education on diabetes is crucial, and schools play an important role in providing this. A clear opportunity exists for teachers and school staff, nutritionists and nurses - alongside parents - to be trained to create a more supportive classroom environment for children with type 1 diabetes.

In addition, increased awareness in schools of the importance of a healthy lifestyle could help prevent young people from developing type 2 - at a young age or later in life. The KiDS programme was designed to fulfil this brief and results of its pilot phase report a high level of approval from teachers and parents.

Challenge

By 2040, it is estimated that 642 million people will have diabetes worldwide and the number of children affected is increasing all the time. Every six minutes a young person finds out he or she has type 1 diabetes and although type 2 is typically prevalent in people aged over 50, an increasing number of cases in children have been reported.

Low- and middle-income countries are particularly affected by the escalating impact of diabetes. According to a 2011 POF survey, one-fifth of all children in the world diagnosed with type 1 diabetes live in India, which also has increasing childhood obesity rates of up to 7.4% in some sectors of the population. In Brazil, around 1 in 10 children under the age of 14 have diabetes and in 2011 around a third of children aged 5 to 9 years were classed as overweight and 14.3% were obese.

As more people are being diagnosed at a younger age, they are faced with the prospect of dealing with the social, medical and economic consequences of diabetes for a greater part of their lifetime. For example, poorly controlled levels of blood sugar can result in frightening and potentially damaging hypoglycaemia and hyperglycaemia. Additionally, diabetes can have a significant impact on a young person’s life and emotional well-being, sometimes becoming overwhelming.

Education in management and the importance of healthy lifestyles is crucial. Schools play an important role in protecting the rights of children with diabetes; however, for many of these children a lack of knowledge within schools around diabetes can lead to isolation, stigma and discrimination.

Solution

In response to this, the KiDS project was established by the International Diabetes Federation and the International Society for Pediatric and Adolescent Diabetes, in collaboration with Sanofi, to foster a supportive school environment that creates a better understanding of diabetes and supports children with this condition. This globally-led public health initiative was piloted in India and Brazil starting in 2014 and quantitative and qualitative assessment was deployed to assess the impact.

A global technical advisory committee of international diabetes experts was established to co-create culturally adaptable KiDS information materials for teachers, school nurses, children and parents of children with diabetes.

These materials form a pack that is divided in two sections - one focuses on type 1 diabetes offering guidelines for the management of children with diabetes at school and a sample diabetes management plan. The second focuses on establishing a healthy lifestyle to prevent type 2 diabetes later in life. The pack is available to download from the IDF website in nine languages.

Results

Results from the pilot phase of KiDS were very encouraging. As part of the pilot, 1,396 teachers were trained in India and Brazil. From a sample of 562 teachers, 90% reported being satisfied with the trainings conducted and over 92% of them were satisfied with the clarity of information offered. As part of the KiDS programme’s effort to expand diabetes awareness, 38,000 children were educated.

The KiDS pack was delivered in physical form to 13,650 students and 7,650 parents. The digital pack was downloaded by 8,000 users and 300 people downloaded the KiDS app. The overall satisfaction with the pack was 90.4% and the ease of use was 90%. The project also enjoyed a positive media response. KiDS’ global launch at ISPAD’s annual conference in 2015 generated 7 million media impressions and 65 national and regional articles.

Client verdict

“Working together with the diabetes community on programmes that directly target the impact of diabetes is of immense importance. The outcome of the KiDS pilot shows how we can influence the perception and management of diabetes both inside and outside the classroom,” Catherine Levy, Sanofi

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