Statistics have revealed that 280 Australians develop diabetes every day. That is, one person every five minutes. It has been revealed that there are 1.2 million Australians diagnosed with diabetes. They ranges from very young children, to adolescents and young adults, women during pregnancy, and adults of all ages. It is costing the nation $15 billion a year.
Recent media reports indicated that the situation in Sri Lanka is also causing concern with more and more persons becoming victims of diabetes.
Just before World Diabetes Day – 14 November – it was announced that the Australian Government has developed a National Diabetes Strategy covering the five-year period 2016-2020. It has been hailed as a high-level document that contains a number of goals and potential areas for action that provide a range of ideas for implementation to achieve each goal.
Meanwhile, Diabetes Australia, the national body for people affected by all types of diabetes and those at risk, conducts planned programmes to create awareness about the disease and advice the public on how they should plan their lives to be rid of diabetes.
“Through leadership, prevention, management and research, Diabetes Australia is committed to reducing the impact of diabetes. We work in partnership with diabetes health professionals and educators, researchers and healthcare providers to minimise the impact of diabetes on the Australian community,” the organisation says.
With ‘A world free of diabetes’ as its Vision, Diabetes Australia has four strategic priorities: Leadership, Management, Prevention and Research.
Fund raising events are organised mainly to collect money for research programmes. Two weeks ago it was the official charity partner of Walk to Work 2015, an annual event that encourages Australians to build regular walking into their daily routines. It gave a message to Australians asking them to make a simple commitment to walk, whether that was ditching the car and walking to work, getting off the tram a stop earlier or simply walking at lunchtime.
Diabetes Australia gives the collected funds to the Diabetes Australia Research Program, which funds a range of grants across a full spectrum of diabetes research through a merit based, competitive, peer review process. Research projects can focus on prevention, management of diabetes or the cure for diabetes. Prior to the Walk to Work 2o015, Diabetes Australia had donated $3.8 million this year to diabetes research through its research program.
World Diabetes Day 2015 focussed on healthy eating, which is a key factor in managing type 1 diabetes and helping to manage and prevent type 2 diabetes.