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Alarming Message From the 19th World Diabetes Congress

Dec 12, 2006
 

That diabetes is fast becoming the epidemic of the 21st century which, now affects a shocking 246 million people worldwide, and is expected to affect over 380 million by 2025 if no action is taken. The International Diabetes Federation (IDF) closed the 19th edition of its World Diabetes Congress that was held in Cape Town, South Africa.

With over 12,600 people registered for the Congress and 400 speakers, the 19th World Diabetes Congress was the first diabetes meeting of this magnitude to be organized outside Europe. This unique Congress, which unites the whole diabetes community, did not only give the opportunity to healthcare professionals, researchers, and healthcare providers such as educators and nurses to share their findings but also allowed people with diabetes to share their experiences of life, care and management.

More than 300 presentations were given, covering various aspects of diabetes care, from basic science, clinical advances to education, care, epidemiology, Public Health, to living with diabetes, diabetes in Africa and discrimination. In addition, the Congress was the perfect opportunity for local associations from all over the world to meet and share experiences about their efforts to achieve their common goal: the fight against diabetes.

By organizing the Congress in Africa, IDF managed to emphasize that diabetes care, advocacy and awareness in Africa needs proper attention and should be improved.

At the Diabetes Congress, IDF published new data demonstrating the magnitude of the diabetes epidemic. Data published in the 3rd edition of the Federation’s Diabetes Atlas show that the disease now affects a shocking 246 million people worldwide, and is expected to affect over 380 million by 2025 if no action is taken.

Former IDF President Pierre Lefèbvre: “Just twenty years ago, the best information available suggested that 30 million people had diabetes. A bleaker picture has now emerged. Diabetes is fast becoming the epidemic of the 21st century.”

Along with the growing number of people living with diabetes, the economic effects of diabetes are increasing significantly. New estimates indicate that USD232 billion USD are spent every year on diabetes care. The economic impact however goes beyond the costs that economies need to invest in diagnosis, care and prevention, and include loss of life, disability, the impact on quality of life, the economic impact that the disease has on individuals with diabetes and their families as well as lost economic growth.

The majority of people living with diabetes live in the developing world. Despite the fact that low and middle-income countries will bear the brunt of the forecast explosion, they account for less than 15% of global diabetes spending.

19th World Diabetes Congress Dec, 2006 Cape Town, South Africa

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