Issue: April 2017 - Advancing the urgency for action
Section: The global campaign
IDF 2017: Extensive global network prepares to assemble
In 2017, the International Diabetes Federation (IDF) is bringing the 24th IDF Congress to Abu Dhabi, the capital city of the United Arab Emirates and home to 1.6 million residents. From the 4th to the 8th December, the global diabetes community—including scientific experts, prestigious medical faculty, leading advocates, public health specialists and more—will convene to share the latest achievements in diabetes research as well as explore new developments and technologies in care.
Approximately 12,000 participants are expected to attend IDF’s biennial congress, the most significant global diabetes event, at the Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Centre, the largest exhibition centre in the Middle East. More than 250 speakers will be presenting the most important diabetes research findings and issues related to the global burden of diabetes. The international conference will host 230 national diabetes associations from 170 countries in partnership with the Emirates Diabetes Society and with support from the Abu Dhabi Tourism & Culture Authority, the Health Authority Abu Dhabi (HAAD) and other health organizations, providing a comprehensive global perspective.
“With the number of people with diabetes in the MENA region expected to more than double within the next twenty years, Abu Dhabi is the perfect location to bring together the extensive global network that IDF represents,” says IDF President, Dr. Shaukat Sadikot.
IDF 2017 Program
IDF 2017 will host a world class scientific program comprised of nine streams, introducing new areas such as Diabetes and Disasters; Diabetes in Women and Children; and Diabetes in Society and Culture. With the leadership of Professor Nam Cho, President-Elect of IDF, and in an effort to continually build on the success of past congresses, IDF 2017 will feature more e-poster presentations, shorter session formats, and maximize congress access and efficiency for all participants.
The following Congress program streams will assist in advancing strategies for national, regional and global efforts for diabetes prevention, improved treatment and access and for the promotion of rights for all people living with diabetes.
Basic and Clinical Science
Kyong Soo Park, a professor of Internal Medicine in the Division of Endocrinology and Metabolism at Seoul National University College of Medicine in Korea, is overseeing this stream dedicated to basic and clinical diabetes research progress and current advances in clinical practice and their application in diabetes care.
Science of Diabetic Complications
Isaac Sinay, an advisor at the diabetes unit at the Cardiovascular Institute of Buenos Aires in Buenos Aires, Argentina, is lead for the program that will cover the most advanced research on diabetes complications and current prevention strategies including epidemiology, physiopathology, diagnosis and treatment.
Diabetes and Disasters
A new program stream led by Nizar Al Bache from Syria, Chair of the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) Region of the IDF, will present experiences dealing with diabetes and disasters, both natural and man-made, and provide practical information on how to be prepared to help people with diabetes before and during disasters.
Lawrence Harkless, founding Dean of the College of Podiatric Medicine and Professor of Podiatric Medicine, Surgery and Biomechanics at the Western University of Health Sciences in Pomona California, USA, is leading basic and clinical science of the diabetic foot including public health challenges presented by the condition.
Diabetes in Society and Culture
Massimo Massi Benedetti, former Associate Professor of Endocrinology at the University of Perugia, Italy, is leading this newly created stream which focuses on all aspects of the diabetes epidemic in different societies and how diabetes prevention and management can be enhanced with stakeholder involvement. Special attention will be placed on defining how environmental and cultural factors influence diabetes management.
Diabetes in Women and Children
Hak Chul Jang from the Department of Internal Medicine at Seoul National University Bundang Hospital and Seoul National University College of Medicine in Korea is leading the Diabetes in Women and Children stream. Special emphasis will be placed on the topic of hyperglycaemia in pregnancy including gestational diabetes and pregnancy in women living with diabetes. Diabetes in children—from type 1 diabetes to the emerging issue of type 2 diabetes in youth will also be a key focus.
Education and Integrated Care
This stream, overseen by Edwin Fisher, a public health professional, noted researcher and clinical psychologist, reviews the latest developments in diabetes education and care and their application and integration through healthcare professionals, families and communities. The significance of healthcare professional support; training for multidisciplinary healthcare providers; and tools and intervention approaches for enhancement of self-management will be examined.
Epidemiology and Public Health
Professor Jaakko Tuomilehto, Professor Emeritus of Public Health, University of Helsinki, Finland, has developed a rigorous program which includes epidemiological studies concerning rise of type 1 diabetes and type 2 diabetes; diabetes prevention trials; and healthcare cost and reimbursement issues.
Living with Diabetes
Manny Hernandez, a leading, innovative diabetes advocate from the US who has lived with diabetes since 2002, has developed an exceptional program on all aspects of living with diabetes. Included in the stream line-up are the following topics: peer-to-peer support and education; diabetes technology—digital health and mobile tools; and diabetes and mental health.
Congress attendees will have the opportunity to participate in over 160 hours of scientific sessions, 1000 poster presentations and earn CME credits all to advance knowledge about one of the most significant health crisis in the world today.
Understanding the burden of diabetes in MENA
United Arab Emirates (UAE) is one of the 19 countries and territories of the IDF Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region. MENA is in transition encompassing rapid urbanization and wealth in many countries—such as UAE; and economic and geographic upheaval due to war and political changes in other less fortunate zones—like Syria. These two realities share a public health challenge; MENA has one of the highest rates of diabetes prevalence in the world. Reporting estimates for the region are also challenging because a large proportion of the resident population in many countries consists of migrants and refugees.
According to estimates from the latest IDF Diabetes Atlas (2015), more than 35 million people in MENA live with diabetes and this number is expected to rise dramatically if nothing is done. Approximately 40 percent of people with type 2 diabetes do not know it and nearly eight percent of the population has impaired glucose tolerance (20-79 years) or pre diabetes. By 2040, it is estimated that the prevalence of diabetes will rise to 11.4 percent which is equivalent to 72 million people living with diabetes in the region.
Many healthcare practitioners and researchers argue that incidence of type 1 diabetes is also rising sharply in the Middle East. Approximately ten thousand children (0-14) are diagnosed with type 1 diabetes in the region each year.
Multiple risk factors are responsible for the region’s diabetes burden some of which are predominantly lifestyle issues, including increased prevalence of obesity, physical inactivity, and change in dietary patterns. In addition, there are factors unique to MENA that contribute to the high prevalence of the diabetes epidemic. These include an underlying genetic predisposition to diabetes, lack of diabetes public awareness, preventative care, and primary treatment of risk factors such as obesity.
There may be no better place for worldwide experts to meet than MENA to take on diabetes and its challenges, which continue to confound and confront our world today. Dr Shaukat Sadikot, IDF President sums it up best, "The IDF Congress addresses issues facing what has become one of the most challenging health problems in the 21st century, namely the rapidly increasing number of people with diabetes worldwide, the number of adults with undiagnosed diabetes and the lack of optimal management leading to increase in morbidity and early mortality."
Elizabeth Snouffer is Editor of Diabetes Voice