On your feet

Despite substantial advances following the St Vincent Declaration, the goal of reducing amputations by 50 percent has not yet been reached. ‘On your feet!’ was the title given to a workshop on the diabetic foot, held at the German Diabetes Society Congress last year.

World Diabetes Day 2001: diabetes and cardiovascular disease

Reducing the Burden: Diabetes and Cardiovascular Disease was the theme of World Diabetes Day this year, celebrated on 14 November, a date that has become central to the whole diabetes world. The date was chosen several years ago to commemorate the birth of Frederick Banting, the first who conceived the idea which lead to the discovery of insulin in 1921.

IDF Europe: unity through diversity

On a sunny weekend in October this year, some 90 representatives of diabetes associations from Scandinavia, the Mediterranean, the European Union, central Europe and former Soviet-block countries gathered in Utrecht, The Netherlands, for the annual European ‘Together We Are Stronger’ meeting. This forum for exchange gave the delegates the unique opportunity to meet in person and share experiences and best practices with fellow diabetes advocates.

Regional highlights 2001: Regional Development Plan shows results

Five years after the introduction of the Regional Development Plan (RDP), which called for basic infrastructure to be put into place, the IDF’s seven Regions are showing the results of this investment. Regional strategic action plans now provide the framework for initiatives to improve the lives of people with diabetes. Developing educational courses strengthening strategic partnerships and improving communications were among the highlights of a very active and productive year

Thinking global, acting local: World Diabetes Day 2001

All around the world on 14 November 2001, untold numbers of healthcare professionals, pharmacists, decision makers, and people with diabetes and their friends and families celebrated World Diabetes Day (WDD). Millions of people worldwide received the message that diabetes is now reaching epidemic proportions. Looking through the numerous reports and pictures we have received at the IDF Executive Office in Brussels, it is obvious that in just over a decade 14 November has become singularly the most important day of the year for raising global awareness about diabetes-related issues.

Preventing blindness online

Individuals with diabetes are 25 to 30 times more likely to lose their sight from diabetic eye damage (retinopathy), cataracts or glaucoma. The US National Eye Institute reports that almost half of the 16 million people with diabetes in America have at least early signs of diabetic retinopathy. Nearly 700,000 people have serious retinal disease, and as many as 25,000 people go blind from diabetic retinopathy. In light of these statistics, Prevent Blindness America (PBA), the oldest volunteer eye health organization in the United States, has launched a new website,

Skills, strategies and sunshine: education in the Carribean

According to Diabetes Atlas 2000, there are 21.4 million people with diabetes living in the North American region of the International Diabetes Federation (IDF). Prevalence rates of diabetes are high in this region as compared to Europe and Africa. The Caribbean countries in particular have a disproportionately high number of inhabitants with diabetes. Indeed, several islands in the Caribbean rank in the top 10 of all IDF member countries in terms of diabetes prevalence. The need for diabetes education in the region is therefore high.

The EASD 37th annual meeting in Glasgow

The 37th Annual Meeting of the European Association for the Study of Diabetes (EASD) from 9-13 September, hosted by Diabetes UK, was the biggest meeting of the EASD to date. Ten thousand people in total attended the array of satellite symposia, lectures, poster sessions and the exhibition. However, the news of the terrorist attack in New York, shocking to everyone, dampened proceedings and caused logistical chaos for the American delegation. Following is a brief overview of some of the many interesting topics presented at the meeting.

World Diabetes Day 2002: a bird's-eye view

This year the WDD theme of diabetic eye disease (retinopathy) played a more prominent role in the publicity surrounding WDD events than has been the case for previous themes. Diabetes is the world's primary cause of damage to vision and blindness. One of the specific objectives of WDD 2002 was to warn of the threat of irreversible retinopathy posed by the condition. The theme was taken up in order to campaign for improved provision of sight checks as a relatively low-cost method of prevention.

Highlights of the 38th Annual Meeting of the EASD, Budapest 2002

The 38th Annual meeting of the European Association for the Study of Diabetes (EASD) took place in September on the banks of the Danube, in Budapest, Hungary. The conference provided an arena for industry to present new drugs and devices relevant to treatment of patients with diabetes.