Over 460 million people around the world are currently living with diabetes. Many, particularly in low and middle-income countries, do not have the means to access the medications and supplies they need to manage their condition to avoid complications.

People with diabetes need uninterrupted access to medicines and care. They need healthy food and a safe space to exercise. Caring for diabetes becomes even more difficult when disaster strikes and people are forced to flee. In these difficult circumstances, people with diabetes often struggle to manage their condition and are at increased risk of life-threatening complications.

Since 2009, the International Diabetes Federation has collaborated with the humanitarian organisation Direct Relief to provide access to life-sustaining medication and monitoring to vulnerable populations. The supplies include insulin, needles & syringes, blood glucose meters & strips, and specialized diagnostic equipment.

Direct Relief is active in more than 80 countries, with a mission to improve the health and lives of people affected by poverty or emergencies – without regard to politics, religion, or ability to pay. Their assistance programmes are tailored to the particular circumstances and needs of the world's most vulnerable and at-risk populations and their relationships with prominent regional and global associations and agencies enable them to respond to crisis situations in the most timely and effective manner possible. 

DR logo 400pxDirect Relief works closely with all three global insulin manufacturers and is currently the world’s largest provider of humanitarian insulin. Direct Relief’s facility has the refrigeration capacity to store specialty medicines (up to 300 pallets of cold- chain product) for distribution to over 100 countries around the world.

Temperature-sensitive medicines like insulin are shipped in specialised packaging that maintains a constant temperature range for up to 120 hours. To ensure and verify that temperature has been maintained throughout the transit process, temperature-data loggers are inserted into each package to record the internal temperature of the shipment, to be confirmed within range before the product is released for use by those who need them.

In 2019, IDF and Direct Relief began a pilot collaboration to encourage healthcare manufacturers to donate diabetes-related medications and supplies to help address gaps in diabetes care during times of emergency and or crisis situations. The collaboration has resulted in the donation and distribution of over 5 million tablets of oral diabetes medications, tens of thousands of vials of insulin, and diabetes-related supplies to numerous countries, including the Bahamas, Bolivia, Democratic Republic of Congo, Ethiopia, Kurdistan, Malawi, North Korea, Republic of Congo, Syria, Venezuela, and Zimbabwe.

IDF and Direct Relief are inviting healthcare companies that manufacture diabetes-related medicines, enabling technologies, and diagnostic products to support this programme with regular donations to assist countries and regions impacted by emergency and disaster situations. IDF will help identify and work with its members in those affected regions that need support to ensure an appropriate and rapid response.

For more information about the initiative and how to support it, please contact:

  • IDF: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., Director of Operations
  • Direct Relief: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., VP of Corporate Engagement

Abstract submission for the IDF Diabetes Complications Congress 2020 in Lisbon, Portugal is now closed. We thank the submitters and authors for their contributions. All abstracts are now under review and will be evaluated by our independent reviewers. All notifications on acceptance/rejection will be sent out on the 9th of September 2020.

For any inquiries about your abstract(s), please contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

    Download our Advance Programme Call for Abstracts:

    Congress tab website advance programme call for abstracts 01

    Submission Guidelines

    Submission mode: Abstract submission is only possible online. Abstracts submitted by post, fax or email will NOT be accepted. The online abstract submission module will NOT be available after 31 July 2020.

    IDF congress profile: In order to submit an abstract, a congress profile must be created giving access to the online abstract submission module. The submitting author must ensure accurate contact details are entered. One or more abstracts can be submitted by logging into this congress profile.

    Submitting author / presenting author: If the submitting author is not also the presenting author, the submitting author is responsible for informing the presenting author of all communications received regarding the abstract.

    Presenting author registration: The presenting author must be registered by 27 September 2020. If the presenting author is not registered by this date, their abstract will be REMOVED from the programme.

    Number of submissions: There can only be ONE presenting author per abstract. The same abstract CANNOT be submitted multiple times by listing different presenting authors. An unlimited number of abstracts can be submitted by an author.

    Language: All abstracts must be submitted in English. Should English not be your first language, you may wish to have your abstract examined by a native English speaker prior to submission.

    Accuracy of content: Submitted abstracts may be edited online up to the abstract submission deadline of 31 July 2020. Abstracts CANNOT be edited or revised in any way after the deadline. All accepted abstracts will be published as submitted by the authors. The responsibility for the submission of an accurate and precise abstract lies solely with the authors.

    Originality of abstracts: Work published in peer-reviewed journals before 3 December 2020 should NOT be submitted to the IDF Diabetes Complications Congress 2020. Abstracts already presented at face-to-face meetings should also not be submitted. However, previously submitted work can be resubmitted provided there are new methods and/or findings.

    Disclosure of interests: Any financial relationships with commercial entities related to the authors or products and processes described in the work must be correctly disclosed.

    Regulatory approval: The submitting author confirms that local regulatory approval has been obtained as required by local laws.

    Author consent: The submitting author declares all authors have read and approved the submitted work.

    Copyright transfer: Authors must attest that their submitted work does not infringe any copyright legislation. Copyright for the publication of abstracts is automatically transferred to the International Diabetes Federation upon submission and acceptance of the regulations within the online submission module.

    For rejected abstracts, the copyright reverts back to the authors.


    Topic: There are various categories that have been defined for the abstract programme within the three streams. Ensure that you select the MOST relevant topic which BEST describes the content of your abstract. Categories are used for reviewing and indexing purposes.

    Abstract title: The title is limited to 120 characters including spaces and should be brief and relevant. Special characters should NOT be used in your title but spelt out instead (e.g. α should be written as alpha, β as beta). Only use standard abbreviations and generic drug names in the title.

    Authors: Only 12 authors and/or study groups can be listed. Only one institution can be entered per author.

    Abstract body
    • The abstract structure is laid out under the headings Background, Aims, Method, Results and Discussion.
    • Font size and style will be automatically configured by the system.
    • Tables will be accepted in the submission field and count towards the character limit. The character deduction for tables is not fixed and will be generated by the character count shown below the submission field. Graphs, figures and photographs are NOT allowed.
    • The length of the abstract is limited to 500 words. Only the abstract body and any inserted tables count towards this word limit. The word count displayed beneath the submission field is final and indisputable.
    • Only commonly accepted abbreviations should be used (e.g. GDM, BMI, DM). Treatment groups or drug names should NOT be abbreviated. Less widely recognised abbreviations may be used if introduced on first usage (e.g. ambulatory blood pressure monitoring, ABPM).
    • Only approved and generic (non-proprietary) drug names should be used.
    • Do NOT enter the title, authors, or grant information into the abstract body but include any references at the end of the abstract.

    Selection and notification process

    Selection: All submitted abstracts undergo a review process by the Programme Committee. Accepted abstracts are selected for oral poster presentation or poster display. The Programme Committee reserves the right to accept or reject any submitted abstract and re-categorise any accepted abstract. The decision of the Programme Committee is final and irrevocable.

    Notification: Notice of acceptance or rejection of submitted abstracts will be sent to the submitting authors by 9 September 2020. It is the responsibility of the submitting author to inform all other authors of the status of the abstract. A submitting author may also check their congress profile to see the status of the abstract.

    Author Registration: Presenting authors of accepted abstracts MUST register for the congress by 27 September 2020. If the entire registration fee is not paid by the deadline, the abstract will be automatically withdrawn and will NOT be presented or published.

    Late-breaking abstract policy

    The IDF Diabetes Complications Congress 2020 will not be accepting late-breaking abstracts. All abstracts must be submitted during the regular submission period starting on 1 June and ending on 31 July 2020.

    The IDF Diabetes Complications Congress 2020 brings together members from around the world who are renowned experts in their fields. This ensures a programme of top quality and reflects the truly global nature of IDF Congresses.

    View the fully searchable scientific programme and create a personal agenda of sessions you would like to attend.

    Sc programme button 


    Abstract Submission

    Abstract submission for the IDF Diabetes Complications Congress 2020 in Lisbon, Portugal is now closed. We thank the submitters and authors for their contributions. All abstracts are now under review and will be evaluated by our independent reviewers. All notifications on acceptance/rejection will be sent out on the 9th of September 2020.

    For any inquiries about your abstract(s), please contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

    View the abstract submission guidelines

    Congress tab website advance programme call for abstracts 01

    Programme Committee

    J RaposoProgramme Chair: Professor João Filipe Raposo, Portugal

    Professor João Raposo graduated in Medicine at the University of Lisbon and received his PhD in Endocrinology from the New University of Lisbon. He did his residency in Endocrinology at the Portuguese Cancer Institute from 1991 to 1997 and has been Consultant of Endocrinology at APDP since 2006. He is currently Assistant Professor of Public Health in the Medical Faculty of New University of Lisbon (NOVA Medical School) and a member of the Board of the Mediterranean Group for the Study of Diabetes (MGSD).

    Stream Leads

    N Sattar
    Cardiovascular Disease & Hypertension Stream:
     Professor Naveed Sattar, United Kingdom

    Professor Naveed Sattar graduated from the University of Glasgow in 1990. In 1993 he moved to Glasgow Royal Infirmary, first as a Specialist Registrar then as Senior Lecturer and Reader. He was awarded a PhD from the University of Glasgow in 1998. He joined the staff of the University of Glasgow and in early 2005 was appointed as Professor of Metabolic Medicine at the Institute of Cardiovascular & Medical Sciences. He continues as an Honorary Consultant at the Glasgow Royal Infirmary, where he co-leads a CVD prevention clinic. He is a Fellow of the Royal College of Pathologists, the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons, Glasgow, the Royal Society of Edinburgh and the UK Academy of Medical Sciences.

    PH GroopEye & Kidney: Per-Henrik Groop, Finland

    Professor Per-Henrik Groop, MD, DMSc, FRCPE graduated from the University of Helsinki in 1982. Following post-doctoral studies at Guy’s Hospital, University of London, under Professor Giancarlo Viberti, Professor Groop returned to Helsinki as Consultant of Nephrology. He served as Professor of Nephrology (Chair) 2010–2015 and is currently Professor of Internal Medicine (Chair) at the University of Helsinki. He is also Chief Physician at the Abdominal Center Nephrology, University of Helsinki and Helsinki University Hospital and Principal Investigator of the Finnish Diabetic Nephropathy (FinnDiane) Study at the Folkhälsan Research Center in Helsinki, Finland. He is Adjunct Professor at the Department of Diabetes, Monash University, Melbourne, Australia.

    A BoultonFoot & Neuropathy: Andrew Boulton, United Kingdom

    Professor Andrew Boulton is President of the International Diabetes Federation (IDF) for 2020-21. He also currently serves as President of the Worldwide Initiative for Diabetes Education and Chair of EURADIA (European Alliance for Diabetes Research). Professor Boulton is a graduate of Newcastle-upon-Tyne University. He subsequently trained in Sheffield and Miami prior to accepting an appointment at Manchester University, where he is currently Professor of Medicine with a special interest in diabetes and its complications. He is also Consultant Physician at Manchester Royal Infirmary.

    Programme Committee Overview


    IDF 2020 Programme Committee


    Stream Descriptions and Learning Objectives

    Cardiovascular Disease & Hypertension Stream

    This stream focuses on all aspects of cardiovascular disease in relation to diabetes, both prevention and treatment of people with diabetes and existing cardiovascular disease, or heart failure. All aspects of the cardiovascular disease will be covered including epidemiology, screening processes and organisation of such care, diagnosis and latest management, with data from both high, and low and middle income countries welcomed. Therapy areas could include lifestyle factors, established cardiovascular risk reduction therapies and anti-diabetic medicines.

    Learning Objectives

    After attending sessions in the Cardiovascular Disease & Hypertension stream, the participant will be able to:

    • Understand the main risk factors for cardiovascular risk in diabetes
    • The drivers towards heart failure in diabetes, and how these compare and contrast those with coronary heart disease
    • Understand that treatment of lipids and blood pressure has substantial benefits in diabetes and, where relevant, to discuss appropriate treatment targets
    • Understand how processes of care can be simplified to aid cardiovascular risk reduction in diabetes
    • Understand the evidence-based treatments designed to lower glucose now available for lessening cardiovascular disease
    • Apply the evidence-based research to the management of cardiovascular disease and heart failure in diabetes
    Eye & Kidney Stream

    This stream focuses on clinically important aspects of the devastating late complications diabetic retinopathy and diabetic nephropathy (kidney disease). The stream will highlight how common eye and kidney disease are and what the consequences are; how to identify the individuals with these complications early enough to be able to treat and improve the prognosis of the affected individuals; why these complications affect a subset of individuals with diabetes; how to treat eye and kidney disease with “standard-of-care” tools and how to implement novel treatment options; how eye and kidney complications affect the adherence to treatment as well as the psychological well-being not only from the “care provider’s” but also from the “patient’s” perspective.

    Learning objectives

     After attending sessions in the Eye & Kidney stream, the participant will be able to understand:

    • How to screen for diabetic eye and kidney disease with currently available tools and what potential new tools there are emerging
    • How common eye and kidney disease are and what are the consequences for an individual with these complications
    • Why some people with diabetes develop eye and kidney disease while others do not
    • How to treat eye and kidney disease according to standard of care but also to become familiar with the promising novel treatments to reduce the burden of these complications
    Foot & Neuropathy Stream

    This stream focuses on all aspects of diabetic neuropathy including both somatic and autonomic. It will also focus largely on lower limb problems in diabetes particularly neuropathy, peripheral arterial disease, and diabetic foot disease. Within the last of these will be an included section on Charcot neuroarthropathy. All aspects of the neuropathies and diabetic foot problems will be covered including epidemiology, screening, diagnosis and latest management. In the area of the diabetic foot a major section will be on prevention of amputation and early management of diabetic foot infections. 

    Learning Objectives

    After attending sessions in the Foot & Neuropathy stream, the participant will be able to:

    • Understand the multiple manifestations of neuropathy both somatic and autonomic.
    • Understand that early diagnosis of neuropathy by screening is advocated in the prevention of later complications
    • Understand that there are no cures for somatic or autonomic neuropathy, but many treatments which will be outlined in the stream
    • Achieve a broad understanding of the pathogenesis and potential prevention of diabetic foot problems
    • Understand the evidence base treatments now available for managing diabetic foot problems and foot infections
    • Apply the evidence-based research to the management of neuropathy and foot problems in day to day clinical practice

    Session Topics Overview




    Cardiovascular Disease & Hypertension


    Aspirin should be reserved for secondary prevention in type 2 diabetes


    Home blood pressure is as predictive as ambulatory blood pressure monitoring for cardiovascular outcomes


    Cardiovascular disease risks in diabetes across the globe: what  have we learned?


    Heart failure and diabetes: diagnosis and phenotypes


    Heart failure and diabetes: risk factors and novel treatments


    Masterclass on lipids in diabetes


    Risk prediction and coronary artery disease in diabetes


    Weight loss, lifestyle and Cardiovascular disease risks in diabetes

    Eye & Kidney


    Diabetic eye and other complications of diabetes


    Management of diabetic eye diseases

    Panel Discussion

    How do individuals with diabetes cope with late complications?

    Panel Discussion

    Non-attendance at diabetic screening events


    How should I screen for diabetic kidney disease?


    How should I treat individuals with diabetic kidney disease?


    Pathogenesis and pathophysiology of diabetic eye disease


    Screening for diabetic retinopathy


    Why do some individuals with diabetes develop kidney disease?

    Teaching Lectures

    The magnitude of the problem – eye and kidney disease

    Foot & Neuropathy


    Autonomic neuropathy




    Diagnosis and management of foot ulcers


    Management of somatic neuropathy


    Modern approaches to neuropathy and foot problems


    New treatments for diabetic foot  ulcers


    Painful diabetic neuropathy

    Symposium / Debate

    Foot infection

    Fasting with diabetes can lead to complications that include:

    • Low blood glucose (hypoglycaemia)
    • High blood glucose (hyperglycaemia)
    • Dehydration
    • Diabetic ketoacidosis (DKA), in people with type 1 diabetes

    It is therefore important that the decision about whether to fast is made on an individual basis in consultation with a healthcare provider, taking into account the severity of illness and the level of risk involved. 

    Leaflet pic 2020 ramadan    Leaflet pic 2020 ramadan FR    Arabic cover Ramadan brochure modified dimensions

    Tips for a healthy Ramadan with diabetes

    Know your risk before you decide to fast

    As per the Holy Quran, there are groups of people who might make themselves ill by fasting. Based on medical and religious advice, it is recommended to visit your doctor 6-8 weeks before Ramadan to understand your risk category before deciding to fast. If your doctor advises not to fast, you will get the same Thawab (reward).

    Check your blood glucose regularly

    Blood glucose monitoring and insulin injections do not break the fast and are important. They are your window to know your blood glucose levels and manage your diabetes. Changes in eating habits during Ramadan may affect your blood glucose and therefore it is important check blood glucose levels regularly.

    • People at very high risk (even if not fasting) should check blood glucose levels 3-4 times a day
    • People at moderate or low risk should check blood glucose levels 1-2 times a day
    Medication adjustments during fasting

    Talk to your doctor about the adjustments required to the dose, timing or type of medication to reduce the risk of low blood sugar.

    It is important to know that measuring your blood glucose and injecting insulin will not break your fast.

    When to break the fast?

    All people with diabetes should break the fast if:

    • Blood glucose is lower than 70 mg/dl (3.9 m mol/L). Re-check within one hour if blood glucose is in the range 70-90 mg/dl (50- 3.9 m mol/L)
    • Blood glucose is higher than 300 mg/dl (16.6 m mol/L)*
    • Symptoms of hypoglycemia, hyperglycemia, dehydration or acute illness occur
    Exercising during Ramadan

    Perform regular light-to moderate exercise. Rigorous exercise is not recommended during fasting because of the increased risk of low blood glucose and/or dehydration. Physical exertions involved in Tarawih prayers, such as bowing, kneeling and rising, should be considered part of your daily exercise activities.

    When the month of Ramadan ends

    Avoid over-eating (especially sweets) during Eid-ul-Fitr, as it may lead to high blood glucose. Visit your doctor to obtain guidance on changing the medication back to the previous schedule.

    Dietary advice for people with diabetes during fasting 

    snacks ramadan
      Divide daily calories between Suhoor and Iftar, plus 1-2 snacks if necessary
    carbohydrates ramadan
      Ensure meals are well balanced:
    45-50% carbohydrate
    20-30% protein
    <35% fat
    fruits and vegetables ramadan
      Include plenty of fruit, vegetables and salads
    buritos ramadan
    Saturated fat  
      Minimise foods that are high in saturated fats (ghee, samosas, pakoras)
    oil ramadan
      Use small amounts of oil when cooking (olive, rapeseed)
    drinks ramadan
      Stay hydrated at or between the two main meals by drinking water or other non-sweetened beverages. 
    Avoid caffeinated, sweetened drinks and sugary desserts
    bread ramadan
      Include low glycaemic index, high fibre foods that release energy slowly before and after fasting 
    (granary bread, beans, rice)


    COVID-19 and fasting with diabetes

    The currently available epidemiological data shows that people who fast do not report higher rates of infections or hospitalization. There is therefore no evidence that fasting could lead to reduced immunity and higher risk for infection.

    However, people with diabetes and complications, such as renal impairment or foot problems, are at high risker of infections. It is therefore important that they follow medical advice and do not fast to avoid increasing their risk of contracting COVID-19.

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