World Diabetes Congress Opening Ceremony Highlights Diabetes as a 'Global Issue'

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World Diabetes Congress shows diabetes is a global health problem.
World Diabetes Congress shows diabetes is a global health problem.

Greetings from Vancouver, Canada!

The opening ceremony of the International Diabetes Federation's World Diabetes Congress started with welcomes from Sir Michael Hirst , immediate past-president of the IDF, and  Dr Shauket Sadikot, President, IDF. The tone was set to look at diabetes as a global issue which needs global solutions that involve everyone working together to ensure all people have availability of treatments, medicines, and technologies. Their message was echoed by Ann Marie Fenton, President of the Federation of European Nurses in Diabetes (FEND).

The multicultural aspect of Canada was evident in the greeting by the indigenous people who ensured the attendees felt welcomed and at peace as a family. This was supported by much music and dancing representing many of the traditions and customs that make up this nation.

The highlight, however, was the entry of the Young Leaders with diabetes representing over 100 countries who each wore their nation's flag. These young people are the future of how diabetes will be treated and cured. They are empowered, passionate, mission-driven and no doubt will change the future of diabetes.

Joan K. Bardsley, MBA RN CDE FAADE, is Assistant Vice President of Special Projects at MedStar Health Research Institute, and 2014 President of the American Association of Diabetes Educators.

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