The International Diabetes Federation (IDF) has just released some startling new figures on the escalating diabetes epidemic. Global studies reveal that a staggering 366 million people across the world are dealing with diabetes. The disease is responsible for 4.6 million deaths a year and related health cares costs have reached $465 billion in US dollars.
“IDF’s latest Atlas data are proof indeed that diabetes is a massive challenge the world can no longer afford to ignore”, stressed the president of the IDF, Professor Jean Claude Mbanya, “In 2011, one person is dying from diabetes every seven seconds. The clock is ticking for the world’s leaders – we expect action from their High-Level Meeting next week at the United Nations that will halt diabetes’ relentlessly upwards trajectory.”
The IDF’s message to world leaders is that investing in research now will result in savings in the future, reducing the enormous and still growing burden of non-communicable diseases on their health systems. This research should include developing and evaluating approaches for building local health care capacity, as well as integrating diabetes care and services with primary health care services.
The IDF announced the shocking diabetes statistics at the Lisbon meeting of the European Association for the Study of Diabetes, a week ahead of the UN Summit on Non-Communicable Diseases. The hope is that world leaders will finally face up to the challenge posed by diabetes, as well as cancer, heart and chronic respiratory diseases.
As this will be only the second UN Summit in history to deal with a health-related issue, the global diabetes community is expecting international political leaders to commit to concrete actions and measurable targets to tackle diabetes mellitus and other non-communicable diseases, as they did at the ground-breaking High-Level Meeting on HIV/AIDS in 2001, said the IDF statement.