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New Zealand diabetes Congress 'enormous' success

New Zealand diabetes Congress 'enormous' success

Around 2,000 delegates attended the International Diabetes Federation Western Pacific Congress in Wellington, New Zealand, from 30 March to 2 April. This makes the Congress one of the biggest conferences ever held in New Zealand. Including sponsors’ registrations, the total number of attendees was around 2,200.

‘This Congress has been an enormous success,’ according to the Chair of the Scientific Committee, Professor Russell Scott. ‘The programme has featured state of the art lectures on innovative research, clinical care and diabetes education.

This has been an opportunity to not only promote diabetes awareness, prevention and management in the region (Pacific, Oceania and Asia), but it has profiled the significant differences between the various countries that comprise the WPIDF.’

Around 70% of the delegates were international visitors. Presentations by experts from the Asia Pacific region were complemented by talks by UK, US and Canadian diabetes opinion leaders.

One of the six Congress streams was focused on diabetes in the Western Pacific Region and included presentations on the changing face of diabetes in Asia and the Pacific, environmental and ethnicity in the region and ethnicity, and diabetes and its complications. All of the streams had an international perspective and carried a cohesive message on the need to develop global strategies for what are global problems.

The importance of the United Nations Resolution 61/225, which encourages signatories to develop national policies for the prevention, treatment and care of diabetes in line with the sustainable development of their healthcare systems, has been reinforced by several key speakers.

‘For the first time, all the Member governments acknowledged that this non-infectious disease posed as serious a threat to world health as infectious diseases like HIV/AIDS and malaria. We need the governments of the region to support and fund the ongoing diabetes priorities that have been highlighted at this Congress,’ concludes Professor Scott. ‘International momentum for real change and commitment has been generated here and all participating delegates at this Congress want to see this continue. More research investment and the implementation of sustainable interventions that arrest the growth of diabetes, both Type 1 and Type 2, will be a positive first step in the global battle to defeat diabetes.’


For more information on the Congress programme, please go to HYPERLINK ""

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 topics were featured?

Diabetes is a complex disease and a wide range of subjects were covered under the following streams:

* Prevention of Obesity and Diabetes

* Health care delivery

* Living with diabetes

* Basic science

* Nutrition and exercise

* Diabetes in the Western Pacific IDF Region

* Clinical Care

Was the current IDF focus on diabetes and youth recognised in this Congress?

There was 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. Youth delegates attended some of the key sessions of the Congress and also had their own sessions.

Who was 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 organised 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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