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First United Nations World Diabetes Day Unites Global Diabetes Community to Fight the Epidemic
Date:11/13/2007

NEW YORK, November 14 /PRNewswire/ -- On the first United Nations World Diabetes Day, the International Diabetes Federation (IDF) calls on governments to develop national policies for the prevention, care and treatment of diabetes and calls on donors worldwide to consider the need for a diabetes global fund to tackle the growing diabetes epidemic.

Speaking at the World Diabetes Day press conference, Dr Martin Silink, President of the International Diabetes Federation, explained that policy change and increased funding will be required to curb the growth of diabetes. "Diabetes is now seen as a serious threat to global health. It is one of the most devastating epidemics the world has seen," said Dr Silink, "yet diabetes funding is dismally insufficient in comparison to other diseases."

November 14 marks the first observance of the existing World Diabetes Day by the United Nations. At the end of last year, the UN General Assembly passed Resolution 61/225. The resolution establishes November 14 as an officially observed UN world day from this year, making diabetes only the second disease after HIV/AIDS to have an official UN day.

The World Diabetes Day resolution describes diabetes as "a threat to families, member states and the entire world." For the first time a non-infectious disease is seen as posing as serious a threat to global health as the infectious diseases like HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria. IDF and WHO figures indicate that over 246 million people now have diabetes worldwide. This number is set to reach 380 million by 2025 if significant action is not taken.(i)

Speaking at today's press conference held in New York City to mark the first United Nations World Diabetes Day, IDF President-Elect Jean-Claude Mbanya explained why widespread apathy in the face of the growing diabetes threat has contributed to the diabetes epidemic: "Diabetes was long dismissed as 'nothing serious' a 'touch of sugar', or a 'disease of the elderly a
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SOURCE International Diabetes Federation (IDF)
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