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Is an insulin pump a good idea for a Type 1 diabetic?

I would be quite keen to get the insulin pump ( I am a Type 1 diabetic).
Does anyone have any pros or cons on this? Are adults also allowed to get it – or is it just children?

Also I have heard that if you can catch your diabetes in the first month – you can reverse it with stem cell injections – is this true?

– Sarah Fernandes Vera Cruz

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  1. PC Botha PC Botha

    The insulin pump was the best thing that happen to me, adults can used it as well and it is very accurate in controlling diabetes. You are welcome to send me a email, I even got one for you for free, if you are keen on getting one, I’ve got the consumables for about 5 month as well for a very good price.


    PC Botha

    • Bernadette Bernadette


      I am interested in getting an insulin pump for my boyfriend who has type 1 diabetes. He keeps getting himself into a coma
      How can I get hold of it and how much does it cost?

      Thank you

      • Hi Bernadette,
        That sounds scary! Good idea to investigate a pump. Some medical aids offer pumps free of charge, which is a good way to go because I think there’s some support that you need to get (training etc) when you first buy one. I’d say speak to his doctor first – apparently it improves blood sugar a lot, but still requires a lot of attention.
        Let us know how it goes?
        Thanks so much! Bridget

    • Vasti Vasti

      Good morning, I am in urgent need of assistance to help me get my diabetes/ bloodsugar levels in control AND I am actually almost on the brink of loosing it… Im struggling with sky high sugar levels en very low sugar levels, BUT it is never between 4 and 6, its eather lower, very low, or very-very high!!! I don’t know what to do anymore, I’ve heard about this “insulin pump”, but also have heard that you need to be on the highest plan of Medical Aid with Discovery Health before you qualify to get an “insulin pump”, and I dont have, I am not…

      Please give me some advice, or is there anything else I can try to do?

      I am 28 years old, has been a diabetic since I was 9 years old…

      Kind Regards,

      Vasti Lessing

      • Hi Vasti,
        First of all – you’re not alone! There are many of us battling with highs and lows every day, and you’re going to get through this.
        Secondly, it sounds like you need some help and guidance. Have you got a diabetes nurse educator or doctor you can talk to? If you’re going very low and very high, it’s probably also a good idea to go to a dietician and see if you can alter your diet to help your blood sugar.
        Ask your medical aid what your ‘prescribed minimum benefits’ are – as a registered diabetic there are certain visits you get each year (to a dietician / doctor / podiatrist etc) that are covered by medical aid. Use them! You don’t have to do this alone.
        The pump is very helpful for a lot of people, but it requires just as much management as injections, so it’s probably best to get your diet and blood sugar under control first, and then start thinking about the pump.
        Will you let us know what your doctor / diabetes nurse educator says, and if going to a dietician is helpful?
        You can do it, promise…
        Editor: Sweet Life

    • Nelson Nelson

      I am having great difficulty in maintaining my sugar levels. I have recently been in two DK comma.’

      I do not have medical aid but am thinking about the pump

      • Yikes, so sorry to hear that Nelson – how are you feeling now?
        The pump is helpful for many people, but it’s not an easy solution, it still requires a lot of work. Have you got a good doctor or diabetes nurse educator who can help guide you?

    • TK TK

      Hi my son has type 1 diabetes, so am desparately need an insulin pump for him and he is in Zimbabwe..can yu email me the prices and how to go about it
      Looking forwad to hear from you

      thanks T

      • Hello!
        Unfortunately we are just a diabetes community and magazine – we don’t sell any diabetic equipment. Good luck in your search!

      • bambam bambam

        Hi TK
        would just like to find out if you got any further with getting your son an insulin pump, I am also in zimbabwe and wanting to get a pump.
        Thank you in advance

    • Leon Leon


    • Nireshni Chellan Nireshni Chellan

      I am a 29 year old Type I diabetic; now being classified as a “brittle” T1D. I am very much interested in the insulin pump. I have done all my research – just need to locate it and price it. Your assistance would be very much appreciated.

      Kindest regards,

      • Hi Nireshni,
        There are only two brands that make insulin pumps in South Africa – Medtronic and Accu-Chek. You can contact them directly for pricing and other info. Good luck! Let us know how you get on…

    • Hi what’s the price on your pump if you still have it if not could you tell. Me where I could get one maybe ?

    • Good day
      Where can I get and buy one please. At the moment I dont have a medical aid.

      • Hi Desiree,
        You can buy directly from insulin pump companies like Medtronic, but they are very expensive without medical aid…

    • chelsea chelsea

      hi Mr Botha

      We are based in South Africa and my partner has had diabetes type 1 for about 20 years,

      He has been desperately trying to get an insulin pump and im sure you would know the expense of getting them. Our medical aid only would pay for the consumables but not the actual pump itself which is about R48000 here.

      I was wandering if there is any way we would be able to get an insulin pump cheaper or something for him as it would save him having to inject himself 4 times a day.

      Warm Regards
      Chelsea Evans

    • Anneri Anneri

      Hi PC
      Could you please send me details? My mom is suffering from first stage Alzheimers. She forgets to inject with her insulin as prescribed. this has serious consequences. We need help to get her an insulin patch or some other device. Please could you assist ? my email address:

    • Gaven Gaven

      Your email please for a insulin pump

      • Hi Gaven!
        Not sure whose email you’re looking for? You can email Sweet Life on our contact page 🙂

    • Gaven Gaven

      Hi there I have Type 1 Diabetes and constantly have hyperglycemia would appreciate if you could whatsapp me on +27817290738 or email me at about the insulin pump you have I really need one to get my diabetes under control thank you.

  2. Lyn Starck Lyn Starck


    Insulin pumps are for any age and can be great if you are totally commited to testing before meals and snacks as carbohydrate couting is vital for successful pump therapy

    Pumps are extremely expensive and the monthly costs are in region of R2000

    Some medical aids are paying so be sure to get all the facts before you make a decision

    pumps have a advantage of giving a freedom of lifestyle as you can run many basals and bolus after calculating accurately

    You need to also research thje different pumps available so you feel comfortable with your choices

    Pumps are hard work and require dedication and commitment if you want to improve your control and reduce hypoglycaemia

    Good luck .I hope this has been useful


    Lyn Starck

    Diabetes Clinical Nurse Specialist

  3. From Facebook (Diabetic South Africans):

    I started on an insulin pump this year. Type 1 – 28 years old and I love it! Would highly recommend one.
    – Shirley Desmond

    I’ve been on the pump for 5 years now. You must just be willing to live with an attachment to your body 24-7. There are pros and cons. You are welcome to e-mail me. eloiser at
    – Eloise Rossouw

    Highly recommend.
    – Rika Botha

  4. Hi there, I launched insulin pumps in SouthAfrica and can confidently say that if you are prepared to place some effort into the learnings of the pump you will experience a true benefit and improved controls with greater peace of mind on a day to day basis.
    New clinical evidence shows the benefit of using a sensor together with the pump as this tightens control even further.
    There are no medical aids in SA that provide pumps free of charge, the current price of pumps range from R10k up to R30k. Your monthly consumables will set you back in the region of R1500 per month. If your scheme pays for this then there is no cost to you.
    There is no difference in outcomes between adult and pediatric patients, both are well suited provided you are motivated to learn and put in the effort. Hope this helps

    • Thanks for the info, Steve!
      I heard that there were one or two medical aids that covered them, so good to know that that isn’t the case… I’ve heard great things from people on the pump about how their control has improved!

    • Leon Leon

      Hi am intersested .please assist to buy


    i am in need of help. i am a type 1 diabetic. i belong to a medical aid, but was told that i would not qualify for a pump to be covered by the medical aid, even though i am on a fairly high tier. is there any way that companies are willing to help sponsor any pumps for people that cannot afford a pump either privately or becuase their medical aid will not cover it?

    • Hi Helene,
      I haven’t heard of any companies sponsoring pumps, but some of our community members have said that if your doctor writes a letter motivating why you have to have a pump, the medical aid will listen. Just be aware that the monthly costs are also very high – the consumables for the pump and the insulin itself. Let us know if your doctor can help?

  6. Athuman Kibowa Ddamulira Athuman Kibowa Ddamulira

    Good news to hear about this developments as far as diabetes is concerned.Ive stayed with this disease since 1981.I use both Actrapid&mixtard insulin.Since late last year I have failed to my sugar levels and ive been advised to buy an insulin pump. I live in Uganda and iam ready for one.Please don’t hesitate to advise contact me. I can easily travel to your country in search for the pump. waiting for your response.

    • Hi Athuman,
      You can buy pumps directly from the companies that make them, or there are sometimes second-hand ones available (take a look at our Facebook page – to find people looking to sell second-hand pumps). Good luck!

  7. Sonja Sonja

    I am considering returning to South Africa from the US. My 9 year old is T1D and on the Medtronic pump. We will have to apply for private medical aid; do you know which medical aid will cover supplies and insulin?
    Thank you

    • Hi Sonja!
      Most medical aids cover the pump supplies on the top tiers – but not necessarily in full. Discovery and Momentum are the two largest medical aids so probably worth starting there… Insulin is covered by all medical aids as a Prescribed Minimum Benefit (PMB) on all tiers. Just be sure there isn’t a gap in medical aid coverage or they can enforce a waiting period, i.e. make sure you are still covered by your US medical aid up to the day you switch to SA medical aid.

  8. Nosipho beju Nosipho beju

    I’m 15yrs born with diabetes can anyone please tell me the price of pump and how safe it is to use it

    • Hi Nosipho,
      It’s completely safe to use a pump but they are very expensive – it’s best to ask your medical aid if they will cover it (otherwise it’s a big upfront cost as well as monthly consumables). Good luck!

  9. Nosipho beju Nosipho beju

    I’m 15 yrs old born with diabetes can i please get information and price for pump

  10. Joel wamono Joel wamono

    Pliz get one for me too,+256750121224 WhatsApp number

What do you think?

Sweet Life is a registered NPO/PBO (220-984) with a single goal: to improve diabetes in South Africa. We are funded by sponsorships and donations from aligned companies and organisations who believe in our work. We only share information that we believe benefits our community. While some of this information is linked to specific brands, it is not an official endorsement of that brand. We believe in empowering people with diabetes to make the best decisions they can, to live a healthy, happy life with diabetes.