June 1, 2018
The Global Voice of Diabetes
IDF President Prof. Nam H. Cho discusses IDF's core mission and the focus of IDF activities in 2018-19.
By Prof. Nam H. Cho
Diabetes Voice first made its appearance as a newsletter in 1954, reporting on the activities of the International Diabetes Federation (IDF) and relevant breakthroughs in medical science. For several decades, the printed bulletin was sent by post to healthcare professionals and researchers keen to engage and share diabetes-related information worldwide. Later, Diabetes Voice was distributed as a magazine to IDF members worldwide.
Times have moved on but, despite being over 60, Diabetes Voice hasn’t retired. It continues to be a key IDF communication channel. Over time our community has grown considerably. Today as a digital platform, Diabetes Voice, is one of many IDF initiatives in place to give people with a connection to diabetes access to important information and networks. This reflects IDF’s core mission by giving voice to people living with, at risk of or connected to diabetes who would otherwise not be heard. It is our job to hear and understand the collective voices of diabetes. Listening to what’s happening locally at grass-roots level helps IDF and its members define and advance the best possible policies for diabetes prevention and care, and helps us protect the rights of people living with diabetes.
As the world’s largest civil society organisation serving to advance diabetes care, prevention and a cure, IDF’s strength depends on unity, teamwork and collaboration. For nearly 70 years, IDF volunteers, partners and a variety of collaborative stakeholders have worked tirelessly to support our vision of a world free of diabetes. We are not there yet.
For the 2018-2019 term, our efforts will be directed towards driving critical action in diabetes care and prevention. We will continue to study and report on global diabetes trends. We will improve care by providing high quality evidence-based education on diabetes and its complications. We will empower people living with diabetes to play a central role in their own care. Above all, we will make sure our commitment to success results in lasting change that benefits the global diabetes community.
With a force of more than 240 national diabetes representative organizations in 170 countries, our broad global network allows us to achieve our goals and deliver deep-rooted plans and initiatives that have the power to change lives and can benefit local communities. Together we can make a difference for estimated 425 million people currently living with diabetes and the many more at risk.
While the world can often be perceived as silent or ignoring the global diabetes crisis, IDFs vision and mission – our unified voice – will be strengthened by concentrating efforts towards the following three areas:
• Strengthening our partnerships
• Bringing about positive change through IDF programmes
• Increasing our global presence
Shared values and commitment provide the foundation for strategic partnerships. We must, however, make sure that the voice of those we represent is heard. Over the next two years we will be devoting time and energy to strengthening the IDF Member network globally, nationally and locally. We will look to collaborate more closely with global organisations who share our concern. We will strengthen and broaden our corporate partnerships and we will strengthen our regional networks.
IDF’s mission is achieved through the development of high-quality global programmes that drive policy agendas at local, national and regional levels. Based on a life-course approach, IDF programmes for 2018-2019 are divided into six main work streams: Diabetes prevention; Diabetes education: Patient engagement; Access to care; Epidemiology; and Humanitarian action. The work conducted under each stream will be informed by scientific evidence and the priorities defined by our Board in open dialogue with key stakeholders.
As the primary global advocate for diabetes, we are informed and supported by both our status as the global reference for epidemiological data on diabetes, and the evidence and policies developed to execute IDF programmes. In the months ahead, we will engage with international bodies, leading political platforms and national governments in order to effect tangible, beneficial and long-term change for people with diabetes.
Our objective is clear: to outline specific actions that will support people with diabetes and implement measures to slow or halt the global diabetes epidemic.
In closing, I would like to acknowledge the members of the IDF Board of Directors, the General Assembly and all 2017 IDF congress participants for the resounding success of the IDF Congress 2017 in Abu Dhabi, UAE. Our exchange of ideas and strategies was an integral step towards shaping IDF priorities for the years ahead.
Our objective is clear: to outline specific actions that will support people with diabetes and implement measures to slow or halt the global diabetes epidemic
Prof. Nam H. Cho is President of the International Diabetes Federation 2018-19
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