Message from the IDF President for World Diabetes Day

Message from the IDF President

Today we mark World Diabetes Day. It is a day of celebration for those with diabetes who demonstrate that with access to the right diabetes care, education and essential medicines life can be lived to its fullest.

But there is also a more sombre side to World Diabetes Day 2013 as we publish the 6th edition of our Diabetes Atlas. Our research shows that one in ten of the world’s population will have diabetes by 2035. We estimate that people living with diabetes will surge from 382 million to 592 million people by 2035, many in low and middle income countries and the majority under 60 years of age. This surge will form the backdrop of the World Diabetes Congress (#WDC2013) in Melbourne, Australia this December. It must place diabetes very high on the agenda of health ministers throughout the world.

Diabetes is a disease of development. The misconception that diabetes is ‘a disease of the wealthy’ is still held, to the detriment of desperately needed funding to combat the pandemic. In coming years we have much to do in making the case for those who have diabetes now and will have in the future.

As news of World Diabetes Day comes in from more than 200 member organisations in over 160 countries and territories I am deeply impressed with the commitment and enthusiasm of our worldwide diabetes community.

Thank you for your efforts.

Sir Michael Hirst
International Diabetes Federation