IDF calls for governments to take action in the fight against diabetes in South and Central America

Foz do Iguaçu, Brazil, April 24, 2014 The President of the International Diabetes Federation (IDF) Sir Michael Hirst is calling for policy-makers and patient organizations to implement national policies to control the rising diabetes epidemic in South and Central America (SACA).  Sir Michael made his plea at the First International Diabetes Forum in Foz do Iguaçu, Brazil

He pointed out that recent estimates in the recently published IDF Diabetes Atlas showed that there are 382 million people living with diabetes worldwide. In the South and Central America Region, the number of people with the condition is 24.1 million, or 8.0% of the adult population. By 2035, the number is expected to rise by nearly 60% to almost 38.5 million people - 1 in 10 adults.

In addition to diabetes, the condition of impaired glucose tolerance (IGT) or prediabetes, for many individuals a stage preceding diabetes, also constitutes a major public health problem with more than 22 million people suffering from the condition.

The SACA region is currently spending about 13% of its total healthcare budget on adults with diabetes. With a diabetes population projected to increase by 60% by 2035, and the population growing older, diabetes will become an even-greater public health priority in the region.

Sir Michael added “Diabetes represents a huge economic and social burden to all countries and communities. We need to encourage the governments of South and Central America to stand up and take action before the prevalence of this disease increases further throughout the region”.

The First International Diabetes Forum is taking place in Brazil from April 24-26 with attendance of government representatives from countries in the region, health professionals and diabetes organizations.  The Forum is addressing a range of issues, such as scientific matters, diabetes education models and access to treatment and medication.

For more information please contact:

Merry Rivas, mrivas@idf.org