Diabetes Canada is proud to join more than 1 billion people in over 160 countries in commemorating World Diabetes Day, the world’s largest diabetes awareness campaign. Marked every year on the birthday of Sir Frederick Banting, who co-discovered insulin in Canada in 1921 with Charles Best, World Diabetes Day is an opportunity to recognize one of our nation’s greatest achievements. But, this year, Diabetes Canada is asking Canadians to also recognize that we are facing a diabetes epidemic and immediate action is needed to confront the many challenges that still lie ahead for the 11 million Canadians affected by diabetes.
“Canada has made an extraordinary contribution to the way in which we live with diabetes, but the need to win the fight to end it is greater than ever,” says Dr. Jan Hux, President and CEO of Diabetes Canada. “The number of Canadians living with diabetes has doubled since 2000, and the cost of this epidemic to Canada’s health-care system is expected to be more than $27 billion this year alone. We simply cannot afford to be complacent, and we need the support of Canadians and their government to turn the tide.”
Diabetes Canada is calling on the Government of Canada to support Diabetes 360˚, a national strategy and evidence-based action plan to prevent and manage the diabetes epidemic. Developed in rigorous collaboration with more than 100 experts academic, health-care, government, private industry and patient advocate stakeholders, the evidence-based action plan will enhance the prevention, screening and management of diabetes to achieve better health for Canadians.
Diabetes Canada is calling for an investment of $150 million over seven years, which can save the health-care system more than $9 billion while preventing the development of nearly one million diabetes cases. Diabetes Canada is also calling on the public to join a day of action, using an online advocacy tool available at diabetes.ca/strategy to send a message urging the government to fund the strategic action plan in Budget 2019.
“The theme of World Diabetes Day 2018 is ‘The Family and Diabetes’,” says Hux. “A recent poll we conducted with Ipsos shows that about half (49%) of Canadians have a family member living with diabetes. We all have a stake in the future of Canada’s health-care system, and we all have a role to play in asserting Canada’s role as a global leader in ending the diabetes epidemic.”
The burden on families of those affected by diabetes is large. A third, or 32 per cent of those living with or caring for someone with diabetes, have missed work due to the disease, including 15 per cent of those that have left the workforce because of it. For Canadians who understand the severity of diabetes, 8 in 10 (82%) rank diabetes as one of the top three diseases that should be prioritized by the Government of Canada, on par with cancer (85%).
In addition to engaging stakeholders in a day of action on behalf of the Diabetes 360˚framework, Diabetes Canada will mark World Diabetes Day with advocacy, awareness, health and research symposiums and diabetes screening events across the country. The day’s largest gathering will happen in Toronto at the Economic Club of Canada where Dr. Jan Hux will discuss the urgently need for a nation-wide diabetes strategy to improve the prevention and management of diabetes in Canada in partnership with Novo Nordisk Canada, Inc.
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