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International Diabetes Federation—The Global Voice for Diabetes
the UN Resolution on diabetes and to recharge energy for the next steps are critical for the delivery of our advocacy and programs. IDF has also
in the global movement. strengthened its executive office by bringing in specialist skills such as
a diabetes educator, epidemiologist, and health economist to better
World Diabetes Day and Diabetes Awareness serve the needs of our members and the larger diabetes community.
Created by IDF and the WHO in 1991, World Diabetes Day is an official The UN Resolution on diabetes serves as the mandate for the
UN World Day. The campaign is led by IDF and its member associations. Federation’s Strategic Plan going forward. The plan commits the
It draws attention to matters of paramount importance in the diabetes organization to drive change at all levels: to prevent type 2 diabetes, to
world and keeps diabetes firmly in the public spotlight. The campaign is develop and encourage best practices in diabetes policy, management,
represented by a blue circle logo, which was adopted after the passage and education, to advance and protect the rights of people with
of the UN Resolution on diabetes. The blue circle is the global symbol of diabetes, and to combat discrimination.
diabetes and signifies the unity of the global diabetes community in
response to the diabetes epidemic. World Diabetes Day is celebrated Political Action
every year on November 14. In an effort to bring diabetes to light, IDF The UN Resolution on diabetes has given IDF a mandate to improve
issues an annual challenge to light iconic global monuments in blue diabetes care and prevention worldwide. To achieve those ends, the
on World Diabetes Day. In 2009, over 1,000 monuments went blue on Federation has concluded that non-communicable diseases, including
November 14. Visit to see the results. diabetes, must be put at the heart of the health agenda of national
governments, the WHO, and the UN. The Federation is actively involved
The theme for the 2009–2013 campaign is diabetes education and in lobbying for political action at the World Health Assembly, the
prevention. The campaign calls on all those responsible for diabetes Commonwealth, the EU, and the UN. Concerted efforts with other civil
care to understand diabetes and take control. For healthcare society organizations leading on non-communicable diseases such as
professionals, it is a call to improve knowledge so that evidence-based heart disease and cancer are also under way. Non-communicable
recommendations are put into practice. The Federation aims to increase diseases account for 60% of the global disease burden, according to
awareness of the importance of education and prevention in diabetes, WHO. Two hundred and eighty-five million people are living with diabetes
and in efforts to delay complications in people living with diabetes. IDF worldwide, according to IDF’s Diabetes Atlas, representing 6.6% of the
believes that all people living with diabetes have the right to appropriate world’s adult population. IDF is committed to advocating on their behalf.
diabetes education by qualified diabetes educators. The Federation is also committed to playing a leading role at all levels to
support the implementation of the WHO Action Plan on Prevention of
IDF education programs have a history of providing high-quality Noncommunicable Diseases 2008–2013.
educational courses and tools for health organizations to develop their
diabetes programs, and for advocating for increased access to care and Conclusion
education for people with diabetes. Currently, IDF is developing a IDF is forging ahead in its efforts to improve the lives of people with
network of IDF Centres of Education to identify gaps and build regional diabetes. The Federation is committed to serving as the authoritative and
capacity. Organizations are selected for their regional leadership in independent global advocate for people living with diabetes; to
diabetes education, their association with clinical and research strengthening and disseminating the evidence base for diabetes;
institutes, and their commitment to the advancement of diabetes to increasing access to an interdisciplinary approach to the management
education and management. In 2008, the second edition of the of diabetes; and to increasing the global impact of IDF’s diabetes education
International Curriculum for Diabetes Health Professionals was released. initiatives. Diabetes is now a global epidemic, with 285 million people
The second edition of the Standards for Diabetes Education for people worldwide living with the disease. IDF is committed to working with the
with diabetes was released in 2009. medical and healthcare community, governments, civil society, and
industry to help reverse this epidemic. To do nothing is not an option. n
The Federation uses various methods to reach the global diabetes
community. An important venue is its quarterly magazine Diabetes For more information, please visit
Voice, which covers the latest developments in diabetes care,
education, prevention, research, health policy, and economics, as well
Ann Keeling is Chief Executive Officer of the International
as themes related to living with diabetes. Diabetes Voice goes to
Diabetes Federation (IDF). She joined IDF from the UK
the heart of matters that are crucial to all those who can further the Government, where she was a senior civil servant in the
promotion of diabetes care, prevention, and a cure worldwide, and is
Government Equalities Office. Ms Keeling has global
experience, having lived in the Pacific, the Caribbean, and
published in English, French, Spanish, and Russian. The magazine works
Asia working for the UN and the governments of Papua New
hand-in-hand with IDF programs, policy, and campaign efforts. Guinea, Pakistan, and the UK. She has also undertaken short
assignments in Africa, Eastern Europe, the Middle East, and
Goals for the Federation
Latin America. Her work has centered on policy reform and
program delivery in health, education, and poverty reduction. Previously, Ms Keeling served
The Federation’s work has expanded exponentially to meet the as Director of the Social Transformation Programmes Division (leading on health, education,
challenge of the growing global diabetes epidemic. Diabetes
and gender) in the Commonwealth Secretariat, supporting the 53 countries of the
Commonwealth. In that capacity she worked with the Federation on the UN Resolution on
organizations around the world are applying for membership. The
diabetes and was a member of the Global Health Worker Advisory Council convened by
Federation’s seven regional offices are the interface between our Mary Robinson and the Global Health Workforce Alliance.
national member associations and global headquarters in Brussels, and
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