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EASD: Diabetes group demands UN action

The International Diabetes Federation has called on the United Nations to take ‘real action’ with new data suggesting the number of people living with diabetes globally in 2011 has reached 366 million

The International Diabetes Federation (IDF) has called on the United Nations to take 'real action' following the release of new figures that suggest the number of people living with diabetes across the world in 2011 has reached 366 million.

Making the announcement at the European Association for the Study of Diabetes (EASD) conference in Lisbon, Portugal, the IDF, which represents diabetes groups around the world, added that healthcare spending on diabetes had reached $465bn annually.

The statement comes a week before the United Nations' (UN) Summit on Non-Communicable Diseases (NCDs) in New York, where world leaders are set to discuss the global challenge of conditions such as diabetes, cancer and heart disease.

It echoes a similar sentiment made by several cancer groups in June, 2011, at the American Society of Clinical Oncology annual meeting.

The UN event will be its second high-level meeting to address a health topic, following a 2001 discussion on the AIDS crisis, which led to the creation of the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria.

President of the IDF, Jean Claude Mbanya, claimed the latest data were “proof” that the challenge of diabetes could no longer be ignored at such a high level, with extra funding for research the organisation's main demand.

He said: "The clock is ticking for the world's leaders – we expect action from their meeting next week at the United Nations that will halt diabetes' relentlessly upwards trajectory."

15th September 2011

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