Diabetes Views

English

And the wheel keeps turning

Back in 2009, I was standing in the foyer on the first floor of the conference centre in Montreal – those of you lucky enough to have attended that meeting may remember the entrance on the ground floor at the corner and the wall of coloured glass panels that made gorgeous coloured patterns on the floor when the sun shone. Those colours were vivid and so is the memory of that moment.

The beating heart of diabetes

At the International Diabetes Federation, we consider ourselves the ‘global voice’ of diabetes - we have done for more than 60 years. We have become an influential advocate for people affected by diabetes, convincing the world’s leaders of the urgent need for concerted action to turn the tables on the world’s chronic disease pandemic.(1,2) Yet our reasons for existing are as they were upon IDF’s inception in 1950. We are driven by the needs of our constituents: people with diabetes.

Going for gold!

Diabetes Voice is so named because it is intended to give a voice to people with diabetes across the world. In this special issue we have tried to interpret our mission very literally and many of our pages are filled by people’s own accounts of their life with diabetes.

Widening IDF’s footprint

During the first quarter of this year, we began to see the impact and results of the alliances and partnerships forged over the previous 12 months. We are seeing the increasing strength and influence of IDF’s Member Associations, amplified through global alliances which underline our external focus. Diabetes is a complex condition – from its multi-pronged aetiology and relentless disease path to the multifaceted approach required to manage diabetes on a daily basis.

Phoenix rising: a better future for diabetes care?

Diabetes is, depressingly, coming of age – as has been forewarned incessantly in these pages over the past decade by a succession of IDF presidents, editors and expert authors. The paradox of the modern world offsets the potential benefits of globalization and rising prosperity (for some) with the personal and economic costs of the rising tide of diabetes and other costly chronic diseases – adding to the constellation of other serious socioeconomic and health challenges facing the world.

A WORLD OF HOPE AND DREAMS

Our Federation is an umbrella organization of over 200 national diabetes associations. They are our Member Associations and represent our global constituency. They are the backbone of the worldwide diabetes community. They work hard and they work well. It is thanks to the evidence on diabetes provided by our Member Associations that the IDF Diabetes Atlas is a respected source of diabetes statistics.

WE SHALL OVERCOME!

Welcome to the first Diabetes Voice of 2012 – our first edition following the very successful IDF World Diabetes Congress in Dubai. Your editorial team were at the Congress, and President Elect Sir Michael Hirst reflects on it in these pages. As he points out, there is a lot of diabetes in the Middle East and North Africa and it is right to take the IDF World Diabetes Congress to such hot spots. I do, of course, refer to the high prevalence of diabetes with this term – although the weather was pretty good too! Raising the profile of diabetes in that region is important.

A very special issue in a stellar year for diabetes

The 5th edition of the IDF Diabetes Atlas, which was launched on World Diabetes Day, 14 November 2011, presented some daunting figures: the estimated number of adults living with diabetes has soared to 366 million – more than 8% of the global adult population – and is projected to rise to 552 million people by 2030 – just short of 10% of all adults. That means that diabetes is growing at the extraordinary rate of approximately three new cases every 10 seconds.

Type 1 diabetes: quo vadis?

In this special issue of Diabetes Voice, there is a focus on type 1 diabetes. In tackling the world pandemic of diabetes, and the critical importance of making societal change to arrest the staggering rise in the prevalence of type 2 diabetes, it is easy for the needs of the 10% of people with diabetes who have type 1 diabetes to be forgotten. Yet incidence of type 1 diabetes is also rising – at 3% per year (see page 6) - and as Professor M'Banya points out in his editorial, people with type 1 diabetes worldwide are still dying because of missed diagnoses or inadequate insulin supply.

Calling out around the world

The Diabetes Atlas is sometimes referred to as IDF’s‘jewel in the crown’ – and for very good reason. The newly updated and improved 5th edition, which will be launched on World Diabetes Day, 14 November, will further empower global diabetes advocacy. Building on the many notable achievements of previous editions, the new Atlas will serve as a powerful and highly effective tool to provide acknowledged, trustworthy data and deliver key, credible messages on the status of diabetes worldwide.


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