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Rising diabetes numbers drive need for solutions

Rising diabetes numbers drive immediate need for solutions

The community health programme survey results that found 60% of the respondents were susceptible to diabetes due to obesity and family history confirm the severity of the diabetes problem, according to the Manager of the International Diabetes Federation Western Pacific Region Congress Russ Finnerty.

‘This survey showed that more than half the population of Counties Manukau, here in New Zealand, is at high risk of developing Type 2 diabetes according to the Let's Beat Diabetes programme,’ says Mr Finnerty. ‘New Zealand is not on its own with this problem. We know these figures are consistent with those in other countries throughout the region.

‘That’s why the Congress here in Wellington at the end of this month, with the theme Diabetes Asia Pacific: Working for Solutions is so incredibly important to every person, government and healthcare provider in this region.’

The 2008 International Diabetes Federation Western Pacific Region Congress is in Wellington from 30 March to 2 April and this forum can assist the governments in the region to identify solution. The programme has now been finalised and is available at

‘This Congress can identify the solutions that are already in development. We have the top experts in their fields coming here and sharing new developments in telemedicine, xenotransplantation, nutritional and environmental factors, and diabetes care and management.

From identifying solutions, we can move forward to implementing them,’ continues Mr Finnerty. ‘It’s vital that the movers and shakers in government and the health service work together on these solutions.

It is only by collaborating and by including community and consumer groups that we can bring real change and make these solutions work.’

With 1,700 delegates in Wellington for this one of this country’s biggest health conference, Mr Finnerty expects wide interest in the Congress from policy makers and healthcare providers throughout the region.

For more information on the Congress programme, please go to

To arrange interviews with the Congress speakers or for media enquiries and further information on the Congress, please contact:
Bronwyn Bannister
Congress Communications Manager
(+64 4) 499 7143
027 410 4873

International Diabetes Federation Western Pacific Region (IDF-WPR) Congress Background Information

Have there been IDF-WPR Congresses here before?
Not in New Zealand, but recent Congresses in the Western Pacific Region have been:
• Sydney 1999 (1200 attendees)
• Beijing 2002 (2000+)
• Bangkok 2005 (1900+)

What is the preliminary structure?
The proposed structure is a mix of plenary sessions, and mini symposia each comprising a lead speaker and adjudicated papers.
Additionally poster sessions, "Meet the Professor" discussions, company symposia and slots for "Late Breaking Trials" will round out the programme.

What topics will be featured?
This is a complex area and a wide range of subjects will be covered under the following streams:
• Prevention of Obesity and Diabetes
• Health care delivery
• Living with diabetes
• Basic science
• Population aspects of diabetes
• Diabetes in the Western Pacific IDF Region
• Clinical Care

Is the current IDF focus on diabetes and youth recognised in this Congress?
There is a special youth programme within the Congress for selected delegates aged 18-25 years – 24 from the IDF member countries of the Western Pacific Region and 24 from New Zealand. Delegates will attend some of the key sessions of the Congress and also have their own sessions.

For more information on the programme and confirmed speakers, please see

Who is responsible for getting the Congress here?
In May/June 2004 Diabetes New Zealand, with the support of the New Zealand Society for the Study of Diabetes, and the Wellington City Council (who funded the documentation), submitted a written proposal to the IDF-WPR secretariat in Singapore. In December that year Diabetes New Zealand made a formal presentation to the IDF-WPR Council at a meeting in Sydney.

What is the International Diabetes Federation?
The International Diabetes Federation (IDF) is a worldwide alliance of over 200 diabetes associations in more than 160 countries. It is the only global advocate for people with diabetes and their healthcare providers. The IDF works in conjunction with the World Health Organisation (WHO) to enhance the lives of people with diabetes everywhere. It is the mission of IDF to promote diabetes care, prevention and a cure worldwide.

What countries are in the Western Pacific Region?
The Western Pacific Region comprises Australia, Cambodia, China, Fiji, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Japan, Korea, Macau, Malaysia, Mongolia, New Zealand, Papua New Guinea, Philippines, Samoa, Singapore, Taiwan, Thailand, Tonga and Vietnam.

Who is organising the Congress?
Diabetes Congress Limited has been incorporated specifically to own and manage this Congress. This company is owned equally by Diabetes New Zealand and the New Zealand Society for the Study of Diabetes.

What is Diabetes New Zealand?
Diabetes New Zealand Inc is a national membership organisation. Its aim is to support their members, the 39 diabetes societies throughout New Zealand and health professionals. Diabetes New Zealand acts for people affected by diabetes by:
• encouraging local support
• acting as an advocate
• raising awareness of diabetes and diabetes prevention
• educating and informing people about diabetes, its treatment,
management and control
• supporting research into the treatment, prevention and cure of

The National Office is in Wellington.

What is the New Zealand Society for the Study of Diabetes (NZSSD)?
NZSSD Inc is the national advisory body on scientific and clinical diabetes care and standards. NZSSD's objectives are to promote the study of diabetes and the best standards of care of diabetes in New Zealand. It also provides the national reference source on the subject. Its members include diabetes specialist physicians, diabetes specialist nurses, podiatrists, dietitians, ophthalmologists, general physicians and clinical, community and industrial health workers.


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