Diabetes in humanitarian settings - Steering Committee

The members of the Steering Committee of the IDF Diabetes Care, Prevention and Management in Humanitarian Settings project include:

Chair: Dr. Nizar Al Bache (Syria)

Nizar Albache is a past Chair of the IDF Middle East and North Africa (MENA) Region (2016-17). He has over 30 years of experience in the management of type 1 and type 2 diabetes and endocrine diseases. Dr Albache was a Medical Doctor at the Aleppo University Hospital and in a private Endocrine and Diabetes Center in Syria from 1985 to 2012. He has also been Assistant Professor teaching diabetes and endocrine diseases at the Faculty of Medicine, Aleppo University.

IDF representatives


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Dr. Naby Balde (Guinea): Chair of the Africa (AFR) Region of the International Diabetes Federation 2018-2019.



Prof. Tatjana Milenkovic (Macedonia): Professor of Internal Medicine at the University St. Cyril and Methodius, Faculty of Medicine in Skopje, Macedonia. Dr. Milenkovic has been working at the Clinic of Diabetes, Endocrinology, and Metabolic Disorders since 1985. In 1995, she established the Department of Education of People with Diabetes and has been the Head of the Department ever since. She is a specialist in Internal Medicine with a sub-speciality in Endocrinology with professional training in UK, Denmark and Italy.


Dr. Mohamed Sandid (Lebanon): President, Lebanese Diabetes Association.


Nancy Larco

Dr. Nancy Larco (Haiti): Doctor, physician, diabetes educator, published author and lecturer with focus on diabetology and endocrinology. In 1988, Dr Larco was assigned to supervisor of diabetes clinics and since 2010 she is the executive director of the Fondation Haitienne de Diabete et de Maladies Cardiovasculaires (FHADIMAC). A committed advocate in the global campaign against diabetes, she has coordinated events such as World Diabetes Day, Month of FHADIMAC, camps for children and young adults with diabetes and their parents and yearly trainings for all medical levels.


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Dr. Ammar Ibrahim (Dominican Republic): Past Chair (2016-17) of the IDF South and Central American Region. Dr Ibrahim is a surgeon, specialised in diabetic foot care since 1996. He became head of the diabetic foot clinic at the Instituto Nacional de Diabetes, Endocrinología y Nutrición (INDEN) in Santo Domingo in 1999 and has been the General Director of INDEN since 2007.


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Dr. Shaukat Sadikot (India): Immediate Past President of the International Diabetes Federation (2016- 2017). Dr. Sadikot also President of DiabetesIndia and presently works as a Consultant in Endocrinology at the Jaslok Hospital and Research Center, Mumbai. He has been actively involved with the cause of diabetes and associated metabolic disorders for the past 30 years.


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Prof. Nam H. Cho (Korea): President International Diabetes Federation 2018-19. Dr. Cho became interested in diabetes in 1984 and has developed an academic career in diabetes research that focuses on clinical epidemiology. He is a world renowned diabetes epidemiologist. He graduated from the University of Pittsburgh with a clinical epidemiology degree in 1989 and was a medical faculty member at Northwestern University Medical School in Chicago until he was recruited by the Korean government's “Korean national brain pool recruitment project” in 1994. He has published over 200 peer reviewed papers on type 1 diabetes, type 2 diabetes, and gestational diabetes.



Mr. Stéphane Besançon: Biologist and nutritionist with specialised degrees in nutritional physiopathology and international development.  He founded the international NGO Santé Diabète, became the Programme Director in 2003 and the CEO in 2009. Santé Diabète has set up numerous pilot schemes for the prevention and management of NCDs and especially diabetes in Africa. Besancon’s work on health systems, chronic diseases, access to treatment, nutrition and diabetes in Africa has featured in many international and scientific publications.


Mr. Jakob Sloth Yigen Madsen: Social anthropologist with 18 years of experience in the field of global health management. Additional education within organizational management, public health, and communication. Currently Programme Manager at the World Diabetes Foundation, involving the management of over 30 programmes. Strategic focus on diabetes management in humanitarian settings as well as prevention and care of diabetes. Regional focus on MENA, Portuguese-speaking Africa, and Latin America.


Dr. Sigiriya Aebisher Perone: Medical doctor specialized in internal, tropical and travel medicine. Between 1999 and 2004 she worked as a clinician in Senegal, Benin, Zimbabwe and as coordinator of health programmes in the Balkans. She joined the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) in 2007 and was in charge of physical and mental health of ICRC staff. She currently works at the ICRC Health Unit as well as in the Tropical and Humanitarian Medicine Division of the Geneva University Hospitals, as focal point for non-communicable diseases, with on-going clinical, project management and training activities focusing on challenges in fragile environments.

Akihiro Seita

Dr. Akihiro Seita: Director of the Health Program and WHO Special Representative at UNRWA (United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine refugees in the Near East) HQ in Amman, Jordan. He joined UNRWA in 2011, and prior to that, worked on tuberculosis control in the World Health Organization (WHO) since 1995.


Dr. Slim Slama: Regional Adviser, World Health Organization (WHO). Dr. Slama graduated from the University of Geneva in 1998 and subsequently specialized in Internal Medicine. He is a practicing clinician who also dedicates time to the development of international cooperation activities, including research and teaching in the field of global health.

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