A diabetes patient has her pulse checked by a diabetes specialist doctor during a medical check-up at a hospital in Beijing, China, March 2012. 
David Gray / REUTERS

James Elliott is convinced that the statistics describing the prevalence of type 1 diabetes are misleading. “People say that there is little or no type 1 diabetes in poor countries,” he says. “But that is because all of the people who had it are dead.” Elliott, a health researcher working with Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières and other organizations, has type 1 diabetes himself. As a volunteer advocate with the diabetes patient organization T1International, he and his colleagues confront the often-fatal problems caused by the price of insulin and other diabetes supplies. Elliott’s work recently took him to Cameroon, where a physician shared the story of a young patient’s father happily delivering news. “Did you hear?” the father said with a smile. “Isabelle died!” He was referring to his diabetic daughter (the name here is a pseudonym). The family had struggled to pay for her insulin and

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