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WDC Closing Ceremony Speech - Prof. Mbanya

WDC Closing Ceremony Speech - Prof. Mbanya

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Speech delivered by Professor Jean Claude Mbanya, President of the International Diabetes Federation, at the closing of the 20th World Diabetes Congress in Montreal, Canada, 2009.
Speech delivered by Professor Jean Claude Mbanya, President of the International Diabetes Federation, at the closing of the 20th World Diabetes Congress in Montreal, Canada, 2009.

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Published by: International Diabetes Federation on Oct 24, 2009
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07/27/2012

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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.
 
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The numbers are alarming. The latestedition of the
IDF DiabetesAtlas
—released in this venue just three days ago—gave us thedismal newsthat some 285million peoplelivewith diabetes today.Low and middle-income countries continue to bear the brunt ofthedisease.Soon, 4out of every5 people with diabetes will live in developingcountries. And the men and women most affectedare of workingagethebreadwinners of their families.In two decades,the total number of people with diabetesis likely toswell to nearly440million!...to put that in context,that’s morepeople than the current population of North America.Despite the growing numbers, people newly diagnosed withdiabetes can find themselves alone on a path that can lead themtowards crippling complications, depression, poor mental healthandearly death.We will need to increase awareness and deliver health education tomake sure that diabetes is detected early and to make sure that thenewly diagnosed are guided along a path of treatment and informedself-care that empowers them to avoid or delay the potentiallydevastating consequences of the disease.We need to provide guidance that will help alleviate the stress of dealing withdiabetes and help people develop the coping skills totravel the diabetes journey, whatever it may bring,and we need tolet them know that they are not alone.We will need to make sure that appropriate care is available to allpeople with diabetes. Andwe will need to make sure that more
 
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evidence-based diabetes education is available so that people withdiabetes play an informed andcentral role in their own care.If we can deliver on the promise to put diabetes care and educationwithin reach, we willhave gone far.Regretfully, however, we will need to do more. We will need toexpand our remit to the area of health promotion.With millions more peopledeveloping diabetes andwithnoguaranteethat the total funding available for global health will beexpandedsufficiently to meet the growing need, wehave tobemore active in prevention.We will need to stop people before they start the diabetes journey.Wehave toact early before people developthe disease.This will be a huge challenge. Affecting the required behaviouralchange and creating healthy environments will require unparalleledcross-sector collaboration.We will need to overcome powerful social, cultural and marketforces to make sure that healthy life choices are available andaffordable. But beyond that we will need to break through theparadox that leaves many of us knowing what the healthy choiceshould be, but making the less healthy choice regardless.The marketing machine that is driving the epidemic of type 2diabetesand other non-communicable diseases is committed to afull frontal assault on all our senses.

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