World Diabetes Congress to be Australia's largest-ever medical congress

Running from 2-6 December at the Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre, the World Diabetes Congress will be the largest medical congress ever held in Australia and is the only global diabetes event of its kind. The Congress will welcome over 10,000 delegates from over 100 nations.

Professor Paul Zimmet AO, Director Emeritus of Melbourne’s Baker IDI Heart and Diabetes Institute and Chair of the Congress Programme Committee says that this year’s Congress will put diabetes on the world stage as a major issue for public health.

It will also shine a light on the problem of diabetes in Australia’s Indigenous population.

“Australia’s Indigenous community has one of the highest rates of diabetes in the world – a trend that is replicated in other Indigenous communities globally. Indigenous communities suffer from extremely high rates of kidney disease and it is important that this issue is addressed both politically and scientifically.”

With 400 speakers and 275 hours of innovative and interactive scientific sessions, the Congress will bring together healthcare professionals, researchers, policy makers, people with diabetes and their families to discuss the latest findings in diabetes research and best practice.

The World Diabetes Congress is one of three of the world’s largest and most prestigious  conferences that will be held in Melbourne over the coming year; the other two are the World

Congress of Cardiology in May 2014 and the International AIDS Conference in July 2014. These three events combined will inject more than $184 million into the Victorian economy.

On December 3, the Congress will host high profile celebrities who have been impacted by diabetes, including Olympian Cathy Freeman, international cricket superstar Wasim Akram and celebrity chef and nephew of Bob Marley Charles Mattocks.

“Diabetes is one of the greatest epidemics the world has ever seen. The Western Pacific region is a diabetes epicentre, 1 in 3 adults live with diabetes in the region and at least 9% of the Australian population has the disease.”

Professor Zimmet believes the impact of this Congress can be significant, particularly in terms of better care of people with diabetes and prevention of diabetes in Australia and abroad.

“Australian researchers and clinicians are among the best in the world, and it’s wonderful to be able to showcase our programs and research at this years World Diabetes Congress.”

The Congress will incorporate seven key streams:

  • Basic and Clinical Science
  • Diabetes in Indigenous Peoples
  • Diabetes Research in the 20th Century: a Historical Perspective
  • Education, Integrated Care
  • Global Challenges in Health
  • Living with Diabetes
  • Public Health and Epidemiology.

Diabetes Research in the 20th Century: a Historical Perspective is a new stream for this year, which Professor Zimmet believes will show the crucial role that Australia has played in diabetes research.

“Most people don’t know who made crucial discoveries in the area of diabetes research and development or why these were made. The new historical focused stream will cover the basis of who, why and how these new developments were made.”  

The World Diabetes Congress will be held at the Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre, Melbourne, Australia from 2 to 6 December 2013.