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

nd the rich'. For years the growing threat of diabetes went largely ignored. Successive generations failed to act decisively. Diabetes slipped in under the radar unnoticed to become a global health catastrophe." According to Dr Mbanya, the time is right to take action to address the diabetes threat: "The political momentum generated by the World Diabetes Day Resolution, the coordinated advocacy of a strong diabetes community and the availability of cheap medication have created the opportunity for governments to implement policies to prevent diabetes and its complications."

Diabetes affects 6% of the global adult population. It is a leading cause of blindness, heart disease, stroke, kidney failure and amputation. Every year, over 3.8 million deaths are due to diabetes, making diabetes a more significant global killer than HIV/AIDS and malaria combined. Every 10 seconds a person dies from diabetes-related causes. In that same 10 seconds, two people develop the disease.

Diabetes is an expensive condition, with wide-ranging costs for individuals, for families and for healthcare systems. It threatens to undermine economic growth, particularly in developing countries, which currently shoulder most of the diabetes burden.

Current spending to treat and prevent diabetes is estimated at more than US$232 billion each year. This will balloon to more than US$302 billion each year within 20 years. More than 80% of this investment is made in the world's most developed countries. The majority of all people with diabetes (70% of the total), however, are found in the developing countries.

Despite the size and seriousness of the diabetes epidemic, it has not attracted significant funding from donors. Overseas Development Aid to the health sector, for example, reached US$2.9 billion in 2002. Most of that US$2.9 billion went to support infectious diseases, particularly HIV/AIDS. Of the global total, only 0.1% was available to fund all non-communicable chronic di
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SOURCE International Diabetes Federation (IDF)
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