Global awareness and advocacy
IDF has achieved substantial progress in placing women and diabetes on the global health and development agenda.
The Political Declaration on NCDs, adopted unanimously at the UN High-Level Summit on Non-Communicable Diseases (NCDs) in 2011, includes specific language on maternal and women’s health.
Since the Summit, we have worked to turn political promises into action to improve the lives of women with diabetes; and have advocated elevating under-prioritised issues, like gestational diabetes mellitus (GDM) and the early origins of diabetes, to the attention of policy makers.
Building the evidence base
IDF has made significant steps in closing the gap in the evidence base for women and diabetes, particularly for GDM. Despite the fact that GDM is accelerating the global type 2 diabetes epidemic, it remains unrecognised by decision makers. The lack of global GDM prevalence data remains a major barrier.
To address this IDF developed an IDF Model Approach to GDM Prevalence which provides a best practice model for collecting consistent, representative and comparable GDM prevalence data. This will facilitate the establishment of global and regional GDM prevalence estimates, which can then be incorporated into the authoritative and globally recognised IDF Diabetes Atlas. The model was launched at the World Diabetes Congress in Dubai in December 2011.
Best practice projects
In 2012, IDF started a three-year project on GDM care in India. The Women in India with GDM Strategy (WINGS) project aims to develop a Model of Care approach for GDM and a situational analysis of the burden of GDM in India. This will provide the necessary evidence base to apply a similar approach to communities all over the world.
Additionally, to date, five research projects on women and diabetes have been carried out by the IDF BRIDGES programme (Bringing Research in Diabetes to Global Environments and Systems). BRIDGES projects investigated diverse issues including: women’s health related behaviours, GDM management, primary prevention, and education tools.
In March 2011, IDF and the NCD Alliance held a side-event at the United Nation’s 55th Commission on the Status of Women. The panel called for the global health and development community to focus their attention on the impact of NCDs on women and stimulated policy dialogue in the run-up to the UN Summit on NCDs. This event also marked the official launch of the landmark publication “Non-communicable diseases: a priority for women’s health and development,” by the NCD Alliance.
During the UN Summit on NCDs in September 2011, IDF co-hosted a side event on gender responsive approaches to NCDs with the Pan-American Health Organization (PAHO), the NCD Alliance, the Commonwealth Secretariat, and the Partnership for Maternal and Newborn Child Health (PMNCH). The high profile panellists examined new findings on the gender dimensions of the NCD epidemic, discuss implications for NCD policy and practice, and share best practice examples of gender integrated approaches to NCDs.