This year’s campaign marks a milestone for IDF and the diabetes community, as IDF intends to build on the momentum created by the first-ever UN Summit on Non-communicable Diseases (NCDs), to be attended by world leaders in September. IDF wants messages and decisions coming out of the Summit to be further cemented by global action on World Diabetes Day, which is expected to reach a global audience of over one billion people.
Speaking at the Commonwealth meeting for 50 Health Ministers in Geneva over the weekend, Professor Mbanya reiterated the need for heightened awareness and increased action, in particular from decision-makers, on NCDs including diabetes. He said, “We should ask ourselves why it is politically acceptable for a woman to die prematurely from a heart attack or cancer, or a man to die prematurely from diabetes or stroke. Something is badly wrong with our thinking on global health priorities”.
The 2011 campaign is the third year of the International Diabetes Federation’s five-year focus on “Diabetes education and prevention”. To complement this theme, IDF has also launched its first-ever animated campaign video, busting popular diabetes myths and putting the facts in full view. The video spells the urgency for concrete steps to be taken collectively by us, in order to stem the tide of diabetes, as the disease poses the problems of kidney failure, blindness, amputations, heart disease and strokes, killing 4 million people every year, and putting over 300 million people at a high risk of developing diabetes (impaired glucose tolerance/pre-diabetes).
Poor dietary habits and lack of exercise are the main reasons for spreading this epidemic to such unimaginable extent. The time is to act now. Together we can change this scenario by better urban planning which creates the right environment to make healthy choices. It is high time we started clipping down the branches of high cost of care, disability, poverty and discrimination, adorning the tree of diabetes.
“World Diabetes Day on 14 November provides the ideal opportunity to reinforce the messages and solutions that will be presented in New York” said Jean Claude Mbanya, IDF President.
The campaign will urge all levels of society, in the spirit of the UN Summit, to take action on the diabetes epidemic before it spirals out of control.