From yesterday to tomorrow: making a difference to globaldiabetes
Date: 22 October, 2009Speaker: JeanClaude Mbanya, President, International Diabetes FederationLocation: World Diabetes Congress, Montreal
Distinguished guests, ladies and gentlemen,Eyamo Zang Alexandre did not choose to be born in Cameroon.Hedid not choose to have type 1 diabetes.Hedid not choose tobeastreet child either.Motherless since the age ofsix,Eyamowasleftby his father andrelativesto fendfor himselfwhen the cost of his diabetes carebecame too heavy a burden to bear.One night in his own home,Eyamo fell into a coma. He was hungry but there was no foodin thehouse. Eyamodid not wakefrom his coma; he was only 16.Weare here today because of Eyamo and the millions like him.As we meet in this comfortable auditorium at the end ofthe 20thWorld Diabetes Congress, buzzing with ideas and energy, a battle isbeing wagedinthe outside world.The numbers indicate that we areonthe cusp oflosing the battle to contain diabetes.Diabetes willkillfour millionpeoplein the coming year.Thisputs aheavy responsibility on my shoulders as the new president of theInternational Diabetes Federation. Iwillneedallyour help.