By: Nicole Johnson
It is no secret that diabetes has become an enormous international problem. Right now, there are over 194 million people worldwide with diabetes. That number is expected to rocket beyond 334 million in the next 20 years. Something has to be done and quickly.
In response to this crisis, the International Diabetes Federation (IDF) has initiated an effort to develop and promote a United Nations resolution on diabetes. They have gathered leaders in the areas of diabetes care, advocacy and industry, including the World Health Organization (WHO), American Diabetes Association, Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation, Rotary International and Lions Club International, to cooperate on the resolution. Above all, unity is required in the fight against this pandemic.
U.N. Resolution Needed
The IDF believes two tactics are needed to make an impact on the diabetes crisis worldwide: to create a United Nations resolution acknowledging diabetes as a serious problem; and to develop an extensive public relations campaign highlighting the need for action. The project is huge in scope and will be ongoing for several years.
IDF president-elect Martin Silink says, “The aim is to run the largest global awareness campaign ever held for diabetes with the goal of reaching one billion people.”
Empower, Energize and Educate
The IDF campaign aims to empower, energize and educate those living with and affected by diabetes. One component of the IDF campaign aims to involve young people by engaging them as advocates through the Youth Ambassadors program. Youth Ambassadors must be between the ages of 18 and 25 and will be nominated by each of the IDF member associations. Twenty-five nominees will be selected and trained at the upcoming IDF meeting in Cape Town, South Africa, in December 2006.
The resolution is a declaration only and does not include any financial support for the cause. The IDF hopes that by voting for this resolution, countries within the United Nations will be motivated to become involved in other efforts to affect the condition. Some possibilities might be sponsorship programs for diabetic children or nationwide prevention and education efforts.
The project is an exciting venture that could provide our cause with a great deal of recognition and attention. The IDF hopes the resolution will be officially recognized on World Diabetes Day, November 14, 2007.
To find out more about the resolution or about becoming a Youth Ambassador, contact the IDF or the ADA for the United States youth nominations.
Why a resolution?
Statistics show that in spite of all our efforts to date, diabetes is still out of control, under-funded and under-recognized. The projected increases in the number of diabetics will outstrip the ability of health systems to cope and will jeopardize the health of millions.
The IDF hopes that a resolution would
- Increase global awareness of diabetes
- Increase recognition of the humanitarian, social and economic burden of diabetes
- Promote strategies for the prevention of diabetes complications
- Promote public health strategies for the prevention of diabetes