International Diabetes Federation Launches First Regional Action Plan to Address Diabetes Epidemic in Middle East & North Africa

Published October 11th, 2009 - 01:36 GMT
International Diabetes Federation Middle East and North Africa Region (MENA) today launched a diabetes action plan, marking a major step forward towards optimal disease management in type 2 diabetes. The MENA action plan aims to improve the prevention, treatment and care of diabetes, which has reached epidemic proportions in the region and has overtaken wider communicable diseases as a health risk. Diabetes affects approximately 24.5 million people in MENA, a region that contains six of the ten countries with the highest prevalence figures worldwide and with a diabetes population that is set to double by 2025.1 Diabetes has been identified by the World Health Organization (WHO) as one of four chronic, non-communicable diseases responsible for more than half of all deaths in the region.2 The plan will enable IDF MENA member associations to develop National Diabetes Programmes designed to prioritize diabetes within national healthcare frameworks through government investment, improved access to treatment and safeguarded patient rights. Improved diagnosis and care, minimum care standards and greater collaboration between all parties involved with diabetes are also recommended within the action plan. The action plan considers the unique challenges in diabetes management for the region such as extensive geography, access to medicine and healthcare and risk factors including smoking, hypertension and obesity. The IDF MENA action plan was developed through a consultation process with national members of IDF MENA and representatives from government and non-governmental organizations. It is a regional response to the United Nations Resolution on Diabetes. Entitled ‘World Diabetes Day’, the Resolution calls on all countries to develop national policies for the prevention, treatment and care of diabetes. Professor Morsi Arab, Chair of International Diabetes Federation MENA Region said “The IDF MENA action plan is a clear response to the recent explosion of type 2 diabetes in our region and the related United Nations Resolution on Diabetes. It focuses specifically on practical steps to support the development of National Diabetes Programmes. Professor Arab continues: “It is critical that we utilize this action plan to tackle the burden of diabetes on our society, economy and the health of our population. The healthcare agenda in the Middle East & North Africa has shifted to address chronic, non-communicable disease and all stakeholders in the diabetes community should take this opportunity to prioritize effective diabetes management.”

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