Marking 70 years as the global voice of diabetes

23 September 2020

The International Diabetes Federation was officially founded on September 23, 1950. From humble beginnings, with 16 countries as initial members, IDF has grown into a global organisation representing over 160 countries and territories and hundreds of millions of people affected by diabetes.

Much has been achieved thanks to the tireless enthusiasm and commitment of volunteers and professionals across the world, dedicated to a common cause – improving the lives of people with diabetes.

Much, however, remains to be done. The number of people living with diabetes continues to rise. Many must live with the complications of diabetes and many still die young as a consequence of their condition. Today, an estimated one in eleven adults are living with diabetes, approaching 465 million people worldwide. At national levels, the picture is often worse. And it is not only type 2 diabetes that is on the rise; figures for the number of people with type 1 diabetes are also increasing.

The numbers continue to grow but the resources allocated to diabetes are often insufficient and are under increased pressure as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. The WHO estimates that diabetes services have been disrupted in 50% of countries worldwide. IDF will continue to raise awareness of diabetes as a dangerous threat to public health and will advocate for adequate resources to be distributed equitably.

The upcoming centenary of the discovery of the life-saving drug insulin provides a unique opportunity for the global diabetes community to come together to advocate for change. Not only to tackle the barriers to insulin access that still exist today but also to make sure the best possible standard of care is available to all people living with diabetes.

Our strength comes from our shared commitment to our cause and the diversity of opinion and cultures we embrace. We count on the passion and dedication of our network to help drive the changes needed to improve care for the 463 million living with diabetes and the millions more at risk, and achieve our ultimate vision of a world free of diabetes.

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