- Diabetes afflicts half a billion people worldwide and some 2.3 million people in Ukraine
- A coalition of companies is fundraising, sourcing insulin, and arranging to have it delivered to high-conflict areas in Ukraine via drone
- The companies are working with Revived Soldiers Ukraine, a non-profit that provides aid to the people of Ukraine and medical rehabilitation for Ukrainian soldiers
As if Russia’s brutal warfare hasn’t destroyed the lives of one too many Ukrainians already, residents of the war-ravaged nation face an additional deadly peril: the lack of medical aid is creating silent casualties of war, including type 1 diabetics who need insulin to survive.
“Sadly, we can’t stop the immediate loss of life from the savage destruction of Russian warfare, but those living in extreme privilege can easily save the lives of what would be needless casualties of war by providing direct medical aid to those who require medication to stay alive. That’s how we can help.”– Arlen Hansen, president and CEO of Kin Communications
To assist with this urgent need, Arlen Hansen of Kin Communications has launched a GoFundMe campaign to immediately raise $250,000 to deliver medical supplies and medication, specifically insulin, for the type 1 diabetics in Ukraine in urgent and dire need of the medication to stay alive.
With the support of NuGen Medical Devices Inc. (TSXV: NGMD), Draganfly Inc. (NASDAQ: DPRO, CSE: DPRO), Coldchain Technology Services, and Revived Soldiers Ukraine (RSU), the coalition is working together to deliver NuGen's needle-free injection systems, coupled with insulin, to areas affected by the conflict using Draganfly's medical response drones.
“It’s a matter of life or death,” says Arlen Hansen, president and CEO of Kin, who is leading the fundraising efforts to purchase the insulin and helped co-ordinate the coalition of companies on board. A type 2 diabetic who has family and friends who are type 1, he says the idea was sparked by a CNN story on a shortage of insulin in Ukraine since the start of the Russian invasion.
“Watching the news, it’s easy to be overwhelmed and feel helpless,” Hansen says. “I wanted to say, ‘this is how you can help.’ We wanted to provide a very simple solution where people know exactly where their money is going—to save the life of a type 1 diabetic.
“Sadly, we can’t stop the immediate loss of life from the savage destruction of Russian warfare, but those living in extreme privilege can easily save the lives of what would be needless casualties of war by providing direct medical aid to those who require medication to stay alive. That’s how we can help.”
Here’s how the group of friends and business associates are helping:
- Kin is coordinating the GoFundMe fundraiser, which in just a few weeks raised $60,000 of its initial goal of $250,000 (the long-term goal is $5 million)
- Now, in partnership with RSU and DroneAid, those wishing to support the cause can contribute a charitable donation to DroneAid and receive a tax receipt as well as email updates on how their donation is supporting RSU’s humanitarian response in Ukraine
- Coldchain has sourced insulin at significantly reduced pricing in the Netherlands, where it will be loaded into NuGen’s needle-free syringes (the company is initially donating 50 InsuJetTM devices and 5,000 needle-free syringes; each device can be safely used 5,000 times)
- Those devices have now been transported to Poland and picked up by RSU, whose drone operators are being trained to fly Draganfly’s medical response drones
- RSU will now load the needle-free devices and insulin on the medical response drones and fly them into high-conflict areas in Ukraine
“As quickly as we can get the needle-free devices filled, they will be deployed,” Hansen says.
The March 18 CNN article that grabbed Hansen’s attention reported that although Ukraine had enough supply of insulin to last up to three months, access to additional insulin was limited and type 1 diabetics in high-conflict zones were being cut off from insulin supply.
An additional challenge is that because insulin is a temperature-sensitive product, quick and safe transportation of the medicine is a top priority, making a quick delivery to areas of conflict essential.
"There is little chance of survival for type 1 diabetics who do not have access to insulin and will most likely become silent casualties of war if they do not receive access to this lifesaving medicine,” Hansen says.
Insulin comes at a significant cost, which is why Hansen and Kin, an investor relations agency, hope to provide ongoing support for diabetics in Ukraine who have already lost so much during the Russian invasion. $17.50 per day is enough to provide enough insulin for one type 1 diabetic, and a monthly supply of insulin costs roughly $520 per type 1 diabetic.
Donors who wish to make charitable donations to the cause can visit www.droneaid.co.
To share and raise awareness on social media, use the hashtags: #insulin4ukraine #ukraine #helpukraine #helpukrainenow #diabetes #t1d #type1diabetes #insulin.
For more information on the companies and groups involved in this campaign, go to the links below: