Diabetes is at crisis levels, but it is finally getting its place on the global health agenda. As the 2011 UN High-level Meeting on Non-communicable Diseases in New York demonstrated, political leaders are seeking solutions.
IDF brought together world diabetes experts and consulted widely to provide those solutions. The result of those deliberations, the first ever Global Diabetes Plan, presents the evidence and proposes cost-effective solutions in a coherent framework for action.
The Plan sets out a way forward based on three objectives:
- Improving the health outcomes of people with diabetes
This objective focuses on: providing essential medicines, technologies, and services for people with diabetes; identifying, treating, and monitoring people at high-risk of complications, including those who are undiagnosed; and providing self-management education.
- Preventing the development of type 2 diabetes
This objective embraces: a ‘health in all policies’ approach that tracks the impact of all proposals and supports the adoption of those that favour good health; healthy nutrition available for all, including reducing fats, sugar and salt in processed food and beverages and eliminating trans fats; and everyday physical activity.
- Stopping discrimination against people with diabetes
This objective: proposes the establishment of supportive legal and policy frameworks, particularly in the sectors of employment, education and insurance; involves people with diabetes in decisions about diabetes policy; and provides regular and transparent reporting on diabetes-related healthcare delivery and outcomes; and supports awareness-raising campaigns including identifying champions of change.
Within the Plan the key strategy for governments is the implementation of a National Diabetes Programme. This programme must improve the organisation, quality, and reach of diabetes prevention and care. Such programmes must be documented and transparent, have stated goals and objectives with specified timeframes and milestones, dedicated funding, and a means of evaluation.
The Global Diabetes Plan also provides advice to governments and international organisations on approaches that will deliver results. In particular, the Plan identifies the importance of strengthening institutional frameworks through several key strategies. These strategies include providing leadership at country and global levels, co-ordinating responsibility for diabetes and related non-communicable diseases at the highest level of government, and ensuring official action goes beyond health to other sectors such as agriculture, transport, environment and planning.
To ensure objectives set out above are achieved, the Plan also proposes that:
- The UN and its agencies work intensively with national governments to re-orient health systems from the traditional focus on acute care to a more pro-active and preventative continuing care model, including training and equipping health professionals to manage diabetes more effectively.
- Countries develop a prioritised national research agenda that fills knowledge gaps which currently hamper the prevention and control of diabetes, improves diabetes medicines and technologies for easier delivery especially in remote, resource-poor communities, and supports the search for a cure.
- Governments ensure that robust monitoring and data collection is performed and communicated and underpins continuing improvements to care delivery.
- Procurement and supply systems are reviewed and streamlined to ensure the effective distribution of essential diabetes medicines and technologies.
- Innovative, sustained and predictable financing is secured to implement the Plan and accelerate progress towards international development goals.
- Governments, the private sector, and civil society – including healthcare workers and academia – work together to foster innovation such as improving building design for greater physical activity, spark new thinking and build new financing streams.