Syringe display to highlight diabetes

diabetesAUSTRALIA - Families affected by diabetes have put 15,000 syringes on the lawns opposite the entrance to Parliament House in Canberra to draw MPs' attention to the disease.

The syringes represent the number of insulin injections a young diabetes sufferer is likely to have in the first 10 years of their life.

One hundred children with type one diabetes gathered with their families today to talk to parliamentarians to ask for their support for research into a cure for the condition.

Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation chief executive Mike Wilson said five Australians a day were diagnosed with the disease at an estimated cost to the community of $6 billion a year.

Prime Minister John Howard assured the children at a lunch in Parliament House, also attended by several other MPs, that both sides of politics were committed to diabetes research.

"We understand it is one of the most common chronic diseases of childhood," he said.

He said the Government had launched a range of initiatives to help children deal with their illness, including recently listing two diabetes drugs on the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (PBS).

"These are very, very valuable weapons in the fight against diabetes," he said.

"If it's understood, if it's treated correctly, if it's treated in a disciplined manner and you get good support from the community and you get good support from the government - as you should - there is no reason why people can't and won't and must lead very active lives."

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