Parliamentarians take up global diabetes challenge with the Melbourne declaration

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Members of more than 50 Parliaments have committed themselves to tackling the global challenge posed by the surging worldwide diabetes pandemic, including PN leader Simon Busuttil and PN MP Joe Cassar, who attended a one-week conference on diabetes in Melbourne.

The Parliamentarians released the Melbourne Declaration on Diabetes at the World Diabetes Congress of the International Diabetes Federation (IDF) in Melbourne, Australia on Tuesday.

The declaration was agreed at the first-ever Parliamentary Champions For Diabetes Forumheld in Melbourne earlier this week. The declaration has established the Parliamentarians for Diabetes Global Network. The Parliamentarians decided to act in light of new International Diabetes Federation (IDF) data estimating that by 2035 there will be 600 million people with diabetes, about one in 10 of the world’s population, and a further 450 million at risk of developing the disease.

The declaration acknowledges the increasingly serious social, economic and medical threat faced by nations large and small by the increasing diabetes pandemic.

The signatories have committed themselves to working across Parliaments to ensure that diabetes is high on the political agenda in every country. They want to see more preventative work, and then early diagnosis, management and access to adequate care, treatment and medicines is available for all those living with diabetes.

Welcoming the declaration, the president of the International Diabetes Federation Sir Michael Hirst said “This is an important moment in the political battle to ensure that governments understand the threat the world faces from diabetes. This is a global challenge requiring a global response. The Melbourne Declaration provides our parliamentary supporters with the tools to raise the issue in every country across the world and press for change”.

SOURCE: The Malta Independent Dec. 6 2013: