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ORIGINAL ARTICLES
Year : 2021  |  Volume : 12  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 18-21

Use of telemedicine for the management of type 1 diabetes in children and adolescents in Bangladesh during the COVID-19 pandemic


1 Department of Paediatrics, Life for a Child and Changing Diabetes in Children Programme, Bangladesh Institute of Research and Rehabilitation in Diabetes, Endocrine and Metabolic Disorders (BIRDEM), Dhaka, Bangladesh
2 Centre for Global Health Research, Diabetic Association of Bangladesh, Dhaka, Bangladesh
3 Life for a Child and Changing Diabetes in Children Programme, Bangladesh Institute of Research and Rehabilitation in Diabetes, Endocrine and Metabolic Disorders (BIRDEM), Diabetic Association of Bangladesh, Dhaka, Bangladesh
4 Department of Paediatrics, Life for a Child and Changing Diabetes in Children Programme, Bangladesh Institute of Research and Rehabilitation in Diabetes, Endocrine and Metabolic Disorders (BIRDEM), Dhaka, Bangladesh; Perinatal Care Project, Bangladesh Institute of Research and Rehabilitation in Diabetes, Endocrine and Metabolic Disorders (BIRDEM), Diabetic Association of Bangladesh, Dhaka, Bangladesh

Correspondence Address:
Dr. Bedowra Zabeen
Consultant Paediatric Endocrinologist, Coordinator, CDiC Paediatric Diabetes Center, Room 309, 1/A Shegunbagicha, BIRDEM 2, Dhaka 1000.
Bangladesh
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None


DOI: 10.4103/jod.jod_55_20

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Background: Telemedicine has been an option for healthcare during the COVID-19 pandemic time. According to the COVID-19 forum on the International Society for Pediatric and Adolescent Diabetes, telemedicine is now the reality for all pediatric diabetes centers around the globe. We report here the analysis of telemedicine care provided to children and adolescents with type 1 diabetes by our diabetes team during the first phase of lockdown in Bangladesh. Materials and Methods: The Diabetic Association of Bangladesh (BADAS) is providing a highly structured and organized system of diabetes care as an extended arm of the government. Since the lockdown, diabetes care for children was started through telemedicine by the diabetes team in our center. Results: We analyzed our phone calls, text messages from March 26 to April 30, 2020. During lockdown, more than 645 calls, including text messages and WhatsApp messages, were received. A total of 235 patients were given advice over the phone in 1 month. Fifty-two percent of phone calls were from the capital city Dhaka and rest from other districts of Bangladesh. While analyzing the problems, three of our patients noticed mild fever, but there was no history of contact with infected persons, and they recovered within 2–3 days. No laboratory test was done for the confirmation of COVID-19. Most of the patients developed hyperglycemia during this period. None of them required hospital admission during this month. Free insulin from CDiC (Changing Diabetes in Children) and LFAC (Life for a Child) programs was sent to the BADAS centers in different districts through courier service even during the lockdown. So, there was no patient without access to insulin during pandemic time. Conclusion: Telemedicine service has been found to be a useful medium for the care of children with diabetes in Bangladesh during COVID-19 crisis. In the future, telemedicine service could be a solution for routine care of diabetic children who are unable or unwilling to travel long distances to a clinic.


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