Home > News > Foreword
General Endocrinology
Read Time: 2 mins

Foreword

Published Online: June 6th 2011
Authors: Jean-Claude Mbanya
Quick Links:
Abstract
Article
Article Information
Abstract:
Overview

There is a battle raging globally in which countries around the world are suffering many casualties. It is being fought right here in Europe. In Europe this year, more than 630,000 deaths will be attributable to diabetes – over 182,000 in the Russian Federation alone.1 National prevalence rates for diabetes show a wide variation from 2.1% in Iceland to 12% in Germany.1 If nothing is done, if no action is taken, we will have an even bigger problem on our hands tomorrow. The International DiabetesFederation’s (IDF) Diabetes Atlas predicts that half a billion people will have diabetes by 2030.

Article:

The pandemic does not only cause large-scale death and disability, but is also a major barrier to development in low- and middle-income countries. Diabetes, together with other non-communicable diseases (NCDs), imposes heavy costs on national healthcare systems and economies, affecting breadwinners in families and plunging entire communities into poverty. Again, without action this socioeconomic burden will only worsen. For so many people with diabetes, insulin is their oxygen. They need it to survive.

The pandemic does not only cause large-scale death and disability, but is also a major barrier to development in low- and middle-income countries. Diabetes, together with other non-communicable diseases (NCDs), imposes heavy costs on national healthcare systems and economies, affecting breadwinners in families and plunging entire communities into poverty. Again, without action this socioeconomic burden will only worsen. For so many people with diabetes, insulin is their oxygen. They need it to survive. Despite this, the life-saving drug – discovered nearly 90 years ago – is inaccessible to them.

When fighting such a global epidemic, partnerships are crucial. Governments alone cannot solve a global challenge of this magnitude; it will take a concerted effort that involves civil society, the research community, international agencies and industry. Prevention especially will require broad dialogue across all sectors – including health, food and agriculture, urban design and transport – as well as radical rethinking on how we live and our concepts of ‘development’, progress and what constitutes a ‘good life’. Partnerships and forums between diverse groups are the only way we can take action and have the necessary global and multisectoral conversations.

However, there has been encouraging news. On 13 May 2010, UN member states unanimously voted in favour of a high-level meeting of the UN General Assembly on NCDs to be held in September 2011. A major campaign for this summit was led by the NCD Alliance, comprising the IDF, the World Heart Federation, the International Union Against Cancer and the International Union Against Tuberculosis and Lung Disease. The summit will take action on NCDs to a new level: raising the profile of these diseases that have been neglected for too long, mobilising the international community, securing commitments from heads of state and sending a clear message to donors and funders on the importance of tackling NCDs.

A huge job remains ahead of us in translating this opportunity into real change for people with diabetes and those at risk. Although diabetes and NCDs form 60% of the burden of disease in low- and middle-income countries, they receive less than 1% of international aid funding for health.2 This has to change. We must ensure that in five years, we are able to look back and say that people in every part of the world have better lives because of what we achieved this year and the next.

Article Information:

References

  1. International Diabetes Federation, IDF Diabetes Atlas, 4th edn, Brussels, Belgium, IDF, 2009.
  2. World Health Organization, www.who.it/ncdnet/en/ (accessed 30 September 2010).

Further Resources

Share this Article
Related Content In General Endocrinology
  • Copied to clipboard!
    accredited arrow-down-editablearrow-downarrow_leftarrow-right-bluearrow-right-dark-bluearrow-right-greenarrow-right-greyarrow-right-orangearrow-right-whitearrow-right-bluearrow-up-orangeavatarcalendarchevron-down consultant-pathologist-nurseconsultant-pathologistcrosscrossdownloademailexclaimationfeedbackfiltergraph-arrowinterviewslinkmdt_iconmenumore_dots nurse-consultantpadlock patient-advocate-pathologistpatient-consultantpatientperson pharmacist-nurseplay_buttonplay-colour-tmcplay-colourAsset 1podcastprinter scenerysearch share single-doctor social_facebooksocial_googleplussocial_instagramsocial_linkedin_altsocial_linkedin_altsocial_pinterestlogo-twitter-glyph-32social_youtubeshape-star (1)tick-bluetick-orangetick-red tick-whiteticktimetranscriptup-arrowwebinar Department Location NEW TMM Corporate Services Icons-07NEW TMM Corporate Services Icons-08NEW TMM Corporate Services Icons-09NEW TMM Corporate Services Icons-10NEW TMM Corporate Services Icons-11NEW TMM Corporate Services Icons-12Salary £ TMM-Corp-Site-Icons-01TMM-Corp-Site-Icons-02TMM-Corp-Site-Icons-03TMM-Corp-Site-Icons-04TMM-Corp-Site-Icons-05TMM-Corp-Site-Icons-06TMM-Corp-Site-Icons-07TMM-Corp-Site-Icons-08TMM-Corp-Site-Icons-09TMM-Corp-Site-Icons-10TMM-Corp-Site-Icons-11TMM-Corp-Site-Icons-12TMM-Corp-Site-Icons-13TMM-Corp-Site-Icons-14TMM-Corp-Site-Icons-15TMM-Corp-Site-Icons-16TMM-Corp-Site-Icons-17TMM-Corp-Site-Icons-18TMM-Corp-Site-Icons-19TMM-Corp-Site-Icons-20TMM-Corp-Site-Icons-21TMM-Corp-Site-Icons-22TMM-Corp-Site-Icons-23TMM-Corp-Site-Icons-24TMM-Corp-Site-Icons-25TMM-Corp-Site-Icons-26TMM-Corp-Site-Icons-27TMM-Corp-Site-Icons-28TMM-Corp-Site-Icons-29TMM-Corp-Site-Icons-30TMM-Corp-Site-Icons-31TMM-Corp-Site-Icons-32TMM-Corp-Site-Icons-33TMM-Corp-Site-Icons-34TMM-Corp-Site-Icons-35TMM-Corp-Site-Icons-36TMM-Corp-Site-Icons-37TMM-Corp-Site-Icons-38TMM-Corp-Site-Icons-39TMM-Corp-Site-Icons-40TMM-Corp-Site-Icons-41TMM-Corp-Site-Icons-42TMM-Corp-Site-Icons-43TMM-Corp-Site-Icons-44TMM-Corp-Site-Icons-45TMM-Corp-Site-Icons-46TMM-Corp-Site-Icons-47TMM-Corp-Site-Icons-48TMM-Corp-Site-Icons-49TMM-Corp-Site-Icons-50TMM-Corp-Site-Icons-51TMM-Corp-Site-Icons-52TMM-Corp-Site-Icons-53TMM-Corp-Site-Icons-54TMM-Corp-Site-Icons-55TMM-Corp-Site-Icons-56TMM-Corp-Site-Icons-57TMM-Corp-Site-Icons-58TMM-Corp-Site-Icons-59TMM-Corp-Site-Icons-60TMM-Corp-Site-Icons-61TMM-Corp-Site-Icons-62TMM-Corp-Site-Icons-63TMM-Corp-Site-Icons-64TMM-Corp-Site-Icons-65TMM-Corp-Site-Icons-66TMM-Corp-Site-Icons-67TMM-Corp-Site-Icons-68TMM-Corp-Site-Icons-69TMM-Corp-Site-Icons-70TMM-Corp-Site-Icons-71TMM-Corp-Site-Icons-72