IDF call for a multisectoral response to diabetes

Urgent national actions are needed to improve diabetes prevention and management

IDF is committed to tackling diabetes at all levels – from programmes at community level to worldwide awareness and advocacy initiatives.

The 9th edition of the IDF Diabetes Atlas has provided background for the following IDF recommendations:

  • 1
    Prioritise diabetes care and control

    National governments, civil society organisations, the private sector and other members of the global diabetes community should play their part in developing multi-sectoral initiatives for the early detection of all types of diabetes and its complications. These initiatives should include measures to increase awareness of the symptoms of diabetes and its complications among the health workforce and the general population.

    Governments should dedicate sufficient funds to guarantee appropriate care for all, notably to train an adequate number of health workers and ensure the availability and affordability of essential diabetes medication, with insulin as a priority. Increased resources must be mobilised to tackle the psychosocial impact of diabetes in individuals and families, and to mitigate the economic impact of diabetes at all levels.

    Governments and industry must implement further concrete and sustainable responses to address differential pricing and other barriers to universal access to insulin.

  • 2
    Develop and implement national plans and strategies to reduce the impact of diabetes

    National Diabetes Programmes are a tried and tested strategy for an effective and coherent approach to diabetes prevention and management. A multi-sectoral approach is key to improve health services devoted to diabetes care and to reduce the barriers to accessing diabetes medicines and technologies, such as equipment and supplies. These are a crucial investment in the long-term health and well-being of populations.

  • 3
    Extend health promotion programmes to reduce the impact of diabetes and its complications

    Governments and all actors in the global diabetes community should collaborate in the development of multi-sectoral and locally-tailored education and lifestyle programmes to promote healthy dietary choices and increased physical activity. Programmes should use a community-wide approach to raise awareness of modifiable risk factors of diabetes and its complications, which will have benefits above and beyond diabetes – for example, on cardiovascular diseases, obesity, some cancers, mental health and a number of other aspects of human health and well-being.

  • 4
    Promote high-quality research on diabetes

    A significant number of countries do not have high quality data on diabetes prevalence, related complications and mortality. Governments and research funding agencies should make funds available to promote high-quality research on the occurrence and the impact of diabetes, to improve our understanding of the measures required to address the global rise in the prevalence of both type 1 and type 2 diabetes.

    An increased number of high-quality studies will improve the coverage and accuracy of estimates and predictions in future IDF Diabetes Atlas editions and other compendia of this kind, which are essential for a comprehensive global diabetes monitoring. Additional national and regional databases of diabetes occurrence and care should also be developed and properly maintained to ensure their quality and the utility of the data they contain.

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Tips for advocates: Identifying and reaching out to your target audience

The biggest factor influencing the effectiveness of your advocacy will be dedicating time and attention to appropriately mapping your target audiences. The most robust and evidence-based messaging about diabetes will have little impact unless it is actively directed towards the right stakeholders.

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