The hashtag “There is no insulin” (or انسولین_نیست#) trended across Iran and beyond on Twitter in mid-October. Although the Iranian government said that more insulin would be available to be distributed, shortages still occurred at least through early December, and no long-term solutions have surfaced. In 2011, an estimated 11.4% of the adult population in Iran had diagnosed diabetes, and recent articles report that Iran has more than 5 million diabetic residents, with more than 600,000 needing daily insulin injections. While a World Health Organization (WHO) representative for Iran was not able to be reached for comment, a WHO media contact was unsure if a shortage was still occurring due to a drop in local media coverage. Iranians who still use the hashtag have crowdsourced insulin and bemoaned spot shortages, hours-long delays and bureaucratic frustrations, and rationing. While tweets have slowed and some speak of improvement—a photo of locations with insulin, for instance—testimonies of supply issues remain. Additionally, a few people have expressed exhaustion over not only advocating for insulin but also over COVID-19 concerns.

 

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