The turn of the year gives us all the opportunity to pause for reflection and look back on the activities of the past twelve months and prepare ourselves for the challenges and opportunities that a new year brings.
When I began my term as President of the International Diabetes Federation (IDF), I stressed the importance of experiencing and understanding the realities on the ground to have a truer, more direct sense of the diabetes crisis, leading to initiatives and solutions that will improve the lives of all people living with diabetes and the many at risk. We currently have a huge amount of knowledge about diabetes and many medications to treat it, but too many people living with diabetes continue to have difficulty accessing the information and care that they require to live healthy and productive lives.
Education has been the cornerstone of the work of IDF over the past year. I am delighted that we were able to secure funding for and launch the IDF School of Diabetes, a flagship initiative aimed at empowering health professionals and people with diabetes so that they are best equipped to tackle all aspects of diabetes. The School will develop and expand considerably in the coming months, offering a wealth of resources to increase diabetes knowledge among all healthcare providers and help the general public understand diabetes and take steps for prevention.
IDF is the global voice of people with diabetes. To add legitimacy to this claim we have established the Blue Circle Voices, a global network that will draw upon the experiences of people living with diabetes from all countries represented by IDF to inform the activities of the Federation so that they best reflect the needs of the diabetes community. The Blue Circle Voices will be officially launched in the next few months and I look forward to the added value that the network will bring to our work.
The past year has also seen continued and strengthened collaboration with partners and aligned organizations, resulting in the development of a number of valuable resources to improve the management and treatment of diabetes and its complications, diabetic retinopathy and cardiovascular disease in particular. This will continue in 2017 as we leverage the unparalleled global network of expertise at our disposal to deliver the most authoritative diabetes information. One of the highlights of the coming year will be launch of the 8th edition of the Diabetes Atlas.
Our members and network are our greatest strength and this was once again reflected in the inspiring display of unity and commitment on World Diabetes Day, as the global diabetes community rallied around the call to promote early diagnosis and treatment of diabetes and its complications.
2016 was also a year with many challenges for the Federation but I would like to reassure you, on behalf of the IDF Board and the IDF Executive Office, of our commitment to advocate for people with diabetes and ensure a fully operational and effective IDF.
I look forward to continue working alongside you all and meeting again to share our knowledge and experiences at the IDF Congress in Abu Dhabi in December 2017. Thank you for your tireless efforts thus far.
My best wishes for a healthy and productive 2017.
Dr Shaukat Sadikot
President, International Diabetes Federation