Cowplain mum’s campaign for better insulin pump screening at airports is success

Rachel Humphrey with her son George.
Rachel Humphrey with her son George.

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A CAMPAIGN to get a better understanding of insulin screening at airports has been successful.

Rachel Humphrey, from Cowplain, started a petition for airports across the world to have a better protocol put in place for people with Type 1 diabetes who are dependent on insulin.

I cannot believe how far we have come in just 12 months.

Rachel Humphrey

And after months of campaigning, updated guidance material is now being sent to 1,853 airports in 173 countries.

Rachel said: ‘This is a major achievement for our campaign.

‘I cannot believe how far we have come in just 12 months.

‘I would like to sincerely thank all those who have supported us and helped really make a difference by signing and sharing our petition.

‘I would also like to thank the Airport Operators Association, International Airport Review, UK Civil Aviation Authority, UK Department for Transport, Diabetes UK, Diabetes.co.uk, JDRF and of course Airport Council International World.’

Rachel started her campaign after being stopped at Dubai airport last year with her son George, who has Type 1 diabetes.

A security guard asked George to remove his insulin pump for an X-ray scan but Rachel argued it was not safe for him to remove it.

She said the radiation could pose dangerous interference with the pump’s motors.

As previously reported in The News, the family were detained at the airport for two hours, which inspired Rachel to start her campaign.

She contacted the Airport Council International who fully supported the campaign by publishing an article ‘Best practice for screening of insulin pumps,’ in their world report.

More recently Nina Brooks, head of security at ACI World, presented the issue to the International Civil Aviation Organisation, a specialised UN agency and the member states of the Aviation Security Panel, which advise on global standards and practises.

Ms Brooks said: ‘Updated guidance material will be included in the 10th edition of ICAOs security manual, which is due for release this year.’

The guidance material will note that airports should be able to provide alternative screening methods with the same security outcomes and should not require the removal of a medical device.

It will also suggest how they should take into account documentation provided from doctors as well as manufacturers discussing the sensitivity of devices to equipment.

Rachel added: ‘After this success I will be continuing my campaign and petition by working with organisations more.

‘I want insulin pump users to have a stress-free and safe experience at airports.’