The launch of the 1st edition of the IDF Diabetes Atlas in 2000 (at the IDF Congress in Mexico City) was an exciting event. Nothing like that had been produced before in the diabetes world. Maria de Alva, IDF President since 1997, wrote in her Foreword to the 1st edition: “Just as an atlas maps the world, so we can find the roads in which to travel, the mountains to climb and the oceans to cross, Diabetes Atlas 2000 maps the world of diabetes.”
For me, that still sums up the rationale of the Atlas. However, since 2000, a number of new roads have opened up. Most of the mountains and oceans are still there but some of them seem less daunting and unscalable and more likely to be sailed safely than they were then. The last eight editions of the Atlas have certainly played their part in bringing the global diabetes picture more sharply into focus. The 9th edition will continue to do so.
I was lucky enough to have contributed to the 1st edition and the two that followed. Then, in 2017, I was asked by the current IDF President to follow in his footsteps and take on the chairmanship of a committee of scientific experts to assemble the content of the 9th edition. It was a daunting prospect but one which appealed to my long-standing interest in the global epidemiology of diabetes. I also had the knowledge that the IDF Diabetes Atlas is such a powerful agent for knowledge dissemination and potential change, and having for some time known and worked with a host of marvelous people in all the seven IDF Regions and in the IDF Executive Office, I knew they would be keen to join me and put their all into producing yet another outstanding publication.
The IDF Diabetes Atlas 9th edition will be launched on World Diabetes Day, 14th November, this year. A hard copy version, available in English, French and Spanish, will feature prominently at the IDF Congress 2019 in Busan, Republic of Korea, in early December.