Lorenzo Piemonte

An Italian national with a background in international relations, Lorenzo Piemonte joined the International Diabetes Federation (IDF) in 2003 and has been involved with several activities and projects of the Federation, including communications, campaign management and public relations. Lorenzo has been living with type 1 diabetes for over 20 years.

This April 7 th marks World Health Day (WHD). The first World Health Assembly, held by the World Health Organization (WHO) in 1948, declared that WHD would be celebrated on this date from 1950 onwards. I am pleased to see that for the first time ever, WHO has chosen diabetes as its theme for WHD in 2016. The decision to dedicate the day to diabetes is timely as diabetes is one of the largest global health emergencies of the 21 st century. Each year growing numbers of people are living with this condition, which can result in life-changing complications, including heart diseases, stroke, blindness, amputations and kidney failure. The risk of these complications can be reduced through early and accurate diagnosis of the disease, good blood sugar monitoring and sound management – but we need to empower health professionals and people with diabetes around the world with information and technologies if the burden of diabetes is to be controlled. According to the latest estimates published by the International Diabetes Federation (IDF), 415 million adults (83% in low- and middle-income countries (LMIC) were living with diabetes in 2015 and this number is expected to rise to 642 million (or 1 adult in 10) by 2040 despite better awareness and new developments in treatment and prevention. I am particularly concerned that around half of people currently living with diabetes do not know they have it. Failure to diagnose diabetes reduces the likelihood that the disease will be well managed, opening the door to complications. WHD on April 7 th is a golden opportunity for all of us – individuals and organisations – working for the benefit of people with diabetes and people at risk of diabetes. We must highlight the importance of all types of diabetes and continue our efforts for enhanced...