Last year, East Algarve Walking Football, following an impassioned appeal from Roy Clark, instigated a diabetes testing programme for their players and the wider public under the auspices of Algarve Health & Social Care. As well as checking and educating people, a fundraising initiative was launched.
There is a huge difference between Type 1 diabetes, where the pancreas has stopped working and produces no insulin, and Type 2 diabetes where the pancreas still works producing some insulin.
Roy, a former police officer in the UK, has Type 1 diabetes and knows from experience of the problems and major health issues that are associated with the condition. Roy recently moved from the finger-prick blood tests to a sensor worn on his arm which, linked to an app, allows him to scan the sensor to read his blood sugars and adjust his insulin.
Following consultation with the diabetes team at the Tavira Centro de Saúde, East Algarve Walking Football decided to support several children with Type 1 diabetes by providing three Continuous Glucose Monitors.
The new technology does not come cheap and being diabetic from childhood is a difficult illness to manage for both the children involved and their parents and also expensive when medicines and associated equipment are taken into account. As well as the monitors there were sufficient funds to enable the purchase of smartwatches so that the user can constantly see what their blood sugars are doing.
It should be remembered that none of the children and their families had the funds available to purchase these items.
Roy Clark added: “I really cannot emphasise too much what a difference this equipment will make to the lives of these young people.”
Recently, Roy Clark and Chris Wright, president of EAWF, presented the equipment to Dra Luísa Prates (Executive Director of ACES Algarve III – Algarve Sotavento) and Nurse Ana Viegas (Diabetes Support Team, Tavira Centro de Saúde).