Posted by: Ann Keeling | February 16, 2011

Welcome to my blog

Diabetes has always been part of my life – my grandmothers had diabetes and it blinded my great aunt. It has marched on through my parents’ generation and then into mine. Working in international development I saw diabetes strike the poorest of communities in countries like Pakistan and Egypt. It was a shock; I had not expected to see a so-called disease of affluence amongst the very poor.

Five years ago a very persistent man called my office at the Commonwealth wanting to talk about diabetes. That persistent caller was Sir Michael Hirst. I was astonished at the figures he and Anne-Marie Felton presented on the global diabetes epidemic. Then I met the tall man from Cameroon, the charismatic Jean Claude Mbanya, and I cheered from the side-lines at a small organisation that had the audacity to get the United Nations sit up and take notice and agree a UN Resolution on diabetes. I told my husband my dream job would be CEO of IDF.

Today I am where I wanted to be – working with the IDF family of committed people at a historic moment that we have created. Together we have the passion, the arguments and the solutions to persuade world leaders at this year’s UN Summit to stop diabetes overwhelming future generations. Together we can make a world of difference for people on the ground.

Welcome to my blog.

Posted by: Ann Keeling | February 10, 2011

The time to Act on Diabetes is Now

A Call to Action on DiabetesFor the global diabetes community, 2011 looks set to be a landmark year. With over 300 million people with diabetes now and 500 million expected to have diabetes by 2030. Diabetes is a major barrier to human and economic development, but diabetes and Non Communicable Diseases (NCDs) are still not part of the mainstream development agenda and the Millennium Development Goals, still underfunded. However, the world is finally waking up to the reality of the global diabetes epidemic.

In September 2011 will take place the first United Nations (UN) Summit on NCDs. The only precedent we have for a health UN Summit is the UN Special Summit on HIV/AIDs in June 2001, which was a turning point for that disease, leading to the creation of the Global Fund and a measurable Outcomes Document. The UN Summit on NCDs will bring together government leaders, the private sector and civil society to take global action on diabetes. This is an opportunity we cannot miss. The UN Summit is our platform to the world, our chance to secure a coordinated global response to diabetes and related NCDs.

I would like this blog to become a platform for a global voice on diabetes, to connect the diabetes world at this turning point and enable exchange of ideas. We need to work together and mobilise the world to make a real change in the lives of people with diabetes. The time to act for diabetes is now.



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