Message from Petra Wilson, CEO, IDF

In some regions of the world, people with diabetes spend as few as five hours a year with a healthcare profesional discussing how to manage and control their condition. The rest of the year they are left to manage and make decisions on their diabetes with little support. The health effects of poor decisions can be dramatic.

Mobile health or mHealth can help improve the way we provide healthcare and empower people with diabetes to take control of their condition. I’m therefore delighted that Brian O’Connor of the European Conected Health Alliance, the leading authority on integrating mHealth into healthcare solutions, kicks off this edition of the newsletter.

...mHealth is a tool, amongst many, and not a solution to the epidemic

Integrated into IDF’s strategic goals and programmes, mHealth offers a huge and exciting potential to support people with diabetes to make better, more informed decisions and take control of their diabetes. mHealth can also reduce the development of life threatening and costly complications. Some countries have reported spending in excess of 20 billion USD on complications treatment. At the same time mHealth, extends the reach of healthcare professionals into countries where resources may be scarce.

However mHealth is a tool, amongst many, and not a solution to the epidemic. Putting effective diabetes and wellness policies in place remains a priority for IDF. We must make sure diabetes is never far from governmental agendas. Over the last few months, IDF kept diabetes visibility high, reacting to the much publicized WHO sugar guidance, as well as a call to governments to acknowledge Universal Healthcare Coverage as a human right. The Parliamentarians for Diabetes Global Network, representing 55 countries, continues to make sure that parliaments around the world will work toward meeting the World Health Assembly targets.

Providing the evidence and backdrop for policy change, IDF projects have much to report from the year so far. From increasing donations and inspirational stories from the Life for a Child programme in India, to new Diabetic Foot projects launched across three developing countries and a global initiative encouraging cities to become diabetes aware. IDF’s mission to provide good diabetes care regardless of borders is as strong as ever.

I hope you enjoy this edition of the newsletter and I look forward to your feedback