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Pathlab And DHB To Help Young Diabetes Sufferers

Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media

More than 250 Waikato children and adolescents with type one diabetes can now safely dispose of their sharps free of charge through an agreement between Waikato DHB and Pathlab.

Waikato DHB diabetes clinic clinical nurse specialist Vikki Lowe-Reid said sharps are items that can cause cuts or puncture injuries and included needles used by diabetes sufferers for injecting insulin.

All sharps waste must be disposed of carefully in appropriate containers.

Until now Waikato funding for the disposal of sharps was only available for IV drug users because of the higher-than-average rate of infectious disease.

"As a service, we have tried hard for many years to obtain funded sharps containers for people with diabetes. We are now thrilled to be able to offer this free sharps container service to children and adolescents under 20 in the Waikato DHB area," said Ms Lowe-Reid.

Waikato DHB recently agreed to provide the funding and entered into a partnership with medical laboratory Pathlab, a private provider of the board's laboratory services. Pathlab funded the printing of a sharps collection equipment card and provide the infrastructure to distribute and collect the sharps containers.

Those with diabetes need a sharps container to dispose of needles.

Until now parents had to pay the price - from $10-$15 which included safe disposal from any one of Pathlab's 38 sites throughout the Waikato.

Health Waikato hospital laboratory charges a similar amount for patients when they do community lab testing in Tokoroa, Te Kuiti and Taumarunui.

"We have the funding now, we've got a system for making this process work and we have the co-operation and assistance of Pathlab," said Ms Lowe-Reid

Parents, caregivers or patients return the containers to Pathlab who dispose of them.

Type 1 diabetes is an 'auto-immune' condition, which most often occurs in childhood, often in children aged 7-12 years. However, it can occur at any age - from tiny babies to very old people.

There are currently approximately 95 paediatrics with diabetes (aged 0-14) and 160 adolescents (15-19) in the Waikato.

The service kicked off earlier this month.

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