We've come a long way but we're not done yet

This quarter marked the one year anniversary of the UN High-Level Summit on NCDs. I have been reflecting on this anniversary and asking myself, one year on, what progress has been made and where we stand in terms of IDF’s mission of promoting diabetes care, prevention and a cure worldwide.

In September 2011 we made a global breakthrough for diabetes. A true watershed occurred within the world’s guiding authority, the United Nations (UN).

Diabetes and NCDs are now finally included in the leading UN agency and fund programmes. NCDs are now crucial to discussions around the post 2015 development framework. A global diabetes epidemic requires global solutions and I applaud the vision and cooperation seen within the international community, including IDF member associations, over the past year.

On November 14 we‘ll reignite our own people’s movement with our World Diabetes Day campaign
 

A major highlight of this post-Summit year was the breakthrough “25 by 25” target. By signing up to a 25% reduction in preventable NCD mortality by 2025, governments have committed to a worldwide reduction in preventable disease, disability and death. We finally have a global goal that we can all unite behind and accountability for the millions of people with diabetes and NCDs who are dying before their time.

But after the fervor of the UN Summit, pressing priorities remain.

We still need urgent action for the millions of people with diabetes lacking access to essential medicines and technologies and we need the resources to support this. Along with this we also need the sense of outrage and a people’s movement equipped to fight the global crisis diabetes has become.

On November 14 we‘ll reignite our own people’s movement with our World Diabetes Day campaign. This year we’ll be focusing on protecting our future from the epidemic. We want to send a strong message to the world that this diabetes epidemic will continue to spiral out of control, destroying future generation and livelihoods, if we do not take action. We’ll be placing a focus on India as an example of a country with a dangerously high number of people with diabetes. Our IDF Atlas estimate figures stand at an alarming 61 million people with diabetes in this nation!

Breakthrough moments of this quarter include the release of IDF’s new Global Guideline for Type 2 Diabetes,  the only global guidelines of its kind. And looking ahead to November we will launch the updated estimates of diabetes prevalence, mortality and expenditure from IDF’s Diabetes Atlas.

Breakthrough moments of this quarter include the release of IDF’s new Global Guideline for Type 2 Diabetes, the only global guidelines of its kind.

As we edge that bit closer to the end of 2012, we move closer to our Congress year. Work is underway both globally and in Australia to scope the December 2013 Melbourne World Diabetes Congress and excitement is building. We will dedicate a new stream to indigenous people acknowledging the high rates of diabetes prevalence facing some of our most vulnerable populations. You can listen to our Programme Chair talk about the World Diabetes Congress 2013 here.

Looking ahead to the final quarter of 2012, IDF will be involved in a variety of WHO consultations. With the mortality target adopted, we still have 10 to play for. IDF and our NCD Alliance partners will be pushing hard for a comprehensive set of global targets that balance prevention and treatment, with the inclusion of a target on essential medicines and technologies as a major priority. We’ll be advocating for a “Global Coordinating Platform” for NCDs to drive multi-sectoral action on diabetes and NCDs, and ensuring civil society has place at the table. Finally IDF will work to ensure that the next Global NCD Plan for the period 2013-2020 will reflect commitments made in the UN Political Declaration.

I’ll have much to report back on in December!