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IDF mourns past President, Dr Leo Krall


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.

Atlas puts diabetes on the world map

“The spread of the western diet and couch-potato lifestyle has transformed diabetes, a ‘disease of affluence’ that now affects five percent of adults, into one of the world’s worst and fastest-growing health epidemics.” Financial Times, 6 November 2000. This was the thrust of the message read by thousands of people all over the world on the day the International Diabetes Federation (IDF) launched its first diabetes atlas, Diabetes Atlas 2000.

Magazines in Africa

A publication that can help inform people with diabetes about their condition and keep them motivated to look after themselves would seem to be a valuable and cost-effective if not essential part of self-management. But in most parts of the poorly resourced continent of Africa, a magazine for people with diabetes is a luxury. Publishing is expensive and requires a supportive economy and a literate population with a common language.

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, www.diabetes-sight.org.

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.

The Internet: a tool for advocacy

In the first of a series of articles on the role the internet can play as a tool for advocacy, we take a look at www.idf.org in order to highlight recent changes to our own website, explain how the present content can be exploited, and preview some of the plans we have for future development.

ADA 2002 highlights

Many interesting topics were in focus at the Annual Scientific Sessions of the American Diabetes Association (ADA) in San Francisco in June. Visitors joined the crowds at numerous symposia, multiple poster sessions, and the commercial exhibition. You will find here an overview of some notable issues discussed at this year's ADA.

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