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Canada to host diabetes mega-congress

MONTREAL, Canada and BRUSSELS, Belgium, March 5, 2009 Almost 90 years ago, the Canadian medical scientist Sir Frederick Banting and a team working at the University of Toronto made the research breakthrough that resulted in the discovery of insulin. Hailed as a miracle drug at the time of its discovery, insulin remains an essential, life-saving treatment for people with type 1 diabetes. This historic connection as the birthplace of insulin is one of the reasons that the International Diabetes Federation (IDF) selected Canada as the ideal location for its 20th World Diabetes Congress.

Held in cooperation with the Canadian Diabetes Association and Diabte Qubec, the 20th World Diabetes Congress in Montreal will be one of the world's largest medical conferences a mega-event that is expected to attract over 15,000 delegates to the city from October 18 to 22, 2009. Key opinion leaders from the global diabetes community from over 160 countries - will converge on Montreal to discuss the burning issues in diabetes.

Organized by the International Diabetes Federation every two years, the World Diabetes Congress will highlight the latest developments in clinical research, showcase new data on the diabetes pandemic, and promote political action to tackle diabetes. Health ministers and officials will join the world's leading diabetes experts to share knowledge, experiences and innovative solutions to address the diabetes threat.

The World Diabetes Congress is the premier gathering of the global diabetes community. It is an honour and a privilege to bring the congress to a place of such historical importance to the diabetes world. We will be covering a wide range of diabetes-related issues, topics and so much more, making the event bigger and better than ever," said Dr. Linda Siminerio, Chair of the IDF Congress Organizing Committee.

The Congress will be held at the Palais des Congrs de Montral and will feature a 12,000 sq m exhibition area. Delegates and exhibitors will not only spend the week sharing information, catching up with old friends, and making new ones, but also provide a welcome boost to the local economy as they enjoy the hospitality, fine dining and sightseeing opportunities that make Montreal such an attractive venue.

"We are thrilled that the IDF has chosen Montreal, a leader in the life sciences, to host the prestigious 20th World Diabetes Congress," says Charles Lapointe, President and CEO of Tourisme Montral. "We look forward to welcoming these thousands of WDC delegates and sharing the excitement of our city, from its gourmet dining to its shopping and culture, to a downtown that hums with round-the-clock action. It will be at least another decade before this distinguished meeting is held in North America again, so we intend to roll out the red carpet and leave our guests with unforgettable Montreal memories."

Diabetes in Canada North America has one of the highest prevalence rates of diabetes in the world, with over 9% of the adult population living with diabetes. In Canada, 9.3% of adults currently have diabetes and this figure is expected to rise to 11.1% by 2025 according to IDF.

According to the Canadian Diabetes Association and Diabte Qubec more than 2.4 million Canadians are living with diabetes. In addition, more than 6 million Canadians have pre-diabetes, placing them at significant risk of developing type 2 diabetes. Particularly alarming is that nearly 80 percent of new Canadians arrive from populations at high risk of diabetes (Asian, South Asian, African, or Hispanic descent).

As the birthplace of hope for the millions affected by diabetes around the world, Canada is proud to host the International Diabetes Federation's 20th World Diabetes Congress this October," said Ellen Malcolmson, President and CEO, Canadian Diabetes Association. "Our founder, Charles Best, the co-discoverer of insulin, saw that the growing numbers of Canadians with diabetes required an organization to serve their needs. Today, diabetes is nothing short of a global pandemic. By bringing thought leaders together in Montreal, IDF is serving the needs of the global community and ultimately, the people who are striving to live healthy lives while we search for a cure."

The prevalence of diabetes is growing at a faster rate than expected around the world." said Serge Langlois, President and CEO of Diabete Qubec, "Over the years, our organization has expended tremendous efforts to raise awareness about this reality: by educating persons living with diabetes as well as the health care professionals involved; by providing access to the right treatment and by assisting in the fight against discrimination toward those affected. This World Diabetes Congress will focus on such issues and therefore, we are proud to welcome to Montreal people of the world who are sharing in the ongoing fight against diabetes."

With over 250 million worldwide with diabetes and 380 million expected by 2025, the fight against the diabetes epidemic continues. The World Diabetes Congress is the place to join that fight. "Canada holds a special place in the heart of the diabetes community. We welcome the participation of people living with diabetes and have sessions dedicated to them. The World Diabetes Congress is a unique event for everyone affected by diabetes and concerned with making a difference to improve diabetes care," said Dr. Siminerio.


Contact: Kerrita McClaughlyn
International Diabetes Federation

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