A global charter that seeks to improve the lives of children with diabetes was launched yesterday by Dutch healthcare company Novo Nordisk and the International Diabetes Federation.
The Diabetes Youth Charter reviews the global trends of childhood diabetes, delivery of care and the socioeconomic impact on children.
Speaking at the conference yesterday, IDF President Martin Slink said that childhood type 1 and type 2 diabetes is increasing in "alarming proportions".
Type 1 diabetes cases in children are increasing at a rate of 3% per year and type 2 diabetes rates at approximately 27% in developed countries.
"More has to be done to diagnose diabetes in children in a timely manner and give them adequate diabetes care," said Dr Henk-Jan Aanstoot, chair of the Diabetes Youth Charter.
"Even in developed countries, children with diabetes in poor control live 10-20 years shorter than their peers."
The charter says that type 2 diabetes can be prevented in children through lifestyle changes, better nutrition and physical exercise.
It also stressed that early detection, intensive treatment and improved care strategies may prevent diabetes complications.
The charter seeks to fill in the major gaps in knowledge concerning the impact of diabetes and how it should be managed.
Mr Slink added that diabetes care "is a human right and should no longer be ignored," saying that it should now gain the same status as HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria.
While Dr Aanstoot said that nurses are the "cornerstone of diabetes treatment and education."
Internatinoal Diabetes Federation
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