IDF President Sir Michael Hirst was amongst other international experts at the launch of Diabetes Australia's national diabetes strategy and action plan today in Canberra.
“In 2012 the worldwide cost of diabetes was estimated at $US471 billion and there were 4.8 million diabetes related deaths worldwide. The western pacific region has the highest prevalence of any region in the world”, Sir Michael Hirst said today at an address at the National Press Club. “All countries need to have their own national strategies to address this challenge. Australia is not alone in this”.
The strategy includes taking more action to prevent people developing type-2 diabetes, better management of people with the disease, and to reduce the impact of diabetes in pregnancy and children.
Professor Stephen Colagiuri from the University of Sydney says there are more than 2 million Australians with pre-diabetes who are at high risk of developing the condition.
"Prevention of type-2 diabetes in this population is proven and possible. That's why Australia needs to put in place a national prevention program," he said.
Health experts say the strategy needs to be supported by all governments, health insurers, employers and workers' compensation insurers to ensure reduced costs and increased productivity.