Conference in Copenhagen to tackle European diabetes challenge (25 April 2012)
On 25-26 April, Copenhagen is setting the scene for the European Diabetes Leadership Forum where ministers, politicians, local and global organisations as well as delegates from all EU countries are assembled to discuss the health threat of diabetes. The conference is hosted by OECD and the Danish Diabetes Association and supported by Novo Nordisk.
According to the International Diabetes Federation (IDF), currently 35 million people in Europe have diabetes and 42 million have pre-diabetes.
Among the aims of the conference is the highlight of the link between economically sustainable health systems and future growth. The conference supports EU’s 2020 growth strategy by emphasising the necessity to address the vast annual European diabetes expense (89 billion euros) through prevention and early detection and treatment.
Besides all direct healthcare expenses, indirect costs such as absence due to illness, loss of productivity, early retirement, family burden etc also add to the total economic diabetes burden.
The conference is expected to gather around 800 participants including keynote speakers such as the Danish Prime Minister, Helle Thorning-Schmidt, Deputy General-Secretary of OECD, Yves Leterme, and former Secretary-General of the United Nations, Kofi Annan.
Similar Diabetes Leadership Forums have previously been held in New York, Moscow, Beijing, Johannesburg and Dubai. Representatives from the previous host countries, EU candidate countries and other OECD countries such as Australia, Canada, Chile, Israel, Japan, Mexico and the US will also be attending in Copenhagen.
The severity of the global diabetes pandemic led the United Nations to assemble a high-level meeting in 2011 to address the area of non-communicable diseases including diabetes. This was only the second UN High-Level Meeting ever held about a disease.
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