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Addressing diabetes and access to insulin at #WHA74

24 May 2021

This is a statement made at the 74th session of the World Health Assembly on Agenda item 13.3: Political declaration of the third high-level meeting of the General Assembly on the prevention and control of non-communicable diseases by the International Diabetes Federation, International Alliance of Patients’ Organisations, International Association for Dental Research, International Atherosclerosis Society, International Society of Hypertension International Society of Nephrology, World Dental Federation, World Heart Federation, World Stroke Organisation, and supported by NCD Alliance.

Honourable Chair, distinguished Delegates,

The International Diabetes Federation, on behalf of the International Alliance of Patients’ Organisations, International Association for Dental Research, International Atherosclerosis Society, International Society of Hypertension International Society of Nephrology, World Dental Federation, World Heart Federation, World Stroke Organisation, and supported by NCD Alliance, thank the Russian Federation for leading the Resolution on Diabetes Prevention and Management, including access to insulin.

Approximately 500 million people live with diabetes. The number has tripled in 20 years. Without decisive action, it will continue to rise. Since 2000, diabetes-related mortality has increased by 70%[1], with diabetes now a top-ten cause of global deaths.

Diabetes is a leading cause of stroke, cardiovascular and kidney diseases, blindness, oral diseases and lower-limb amputation. These co-morbidities place a heavy burden on individuals, families and economies. Diabetes threatens economic advancement, particularly in low and middle-income countries, where 79% of people with diabetes live.

COVID-19 has hospitalised and claimed the lives of people with diabetes disproportionately, underscoring the elevated risk from infectious diseases to people with the condition.

This year marks the centenary of the discovery of therapeutic insulin. Yet, tens of thousands of people with type 1 diabetes who need insulin to survive and more than 30 million with type 2 diabetes who require insulin do not have access to a reliable and affordable supply[2].

A strong Resolution is imperative to improve diabetes prevention and integrated care. We urge Member States to adopt the proposed Resolution and:

  • Collaborate with WHO in implementing the Global Diabetes Compact;
  • Develop targets on prevention, diagnosis and treatment and agree how to achieve them;
  • Take meaningful steps to increase access to effective and quality products, including insulin.
  • Ensure the transparency of markets for diabetes medicines (including insulin) and supplies.

We thank you for your attention.

 

 

[1]  WHO: The top 10 leading causes of death. 9 December 2020. https://www.who.int/news-room/fact-sheets/detail/the-top-10-causes-of-death

[2] Access to insulin: applying the concept of security of supply to medicines. https://www.who.int/bulletin/volumes/97/5/18-217612/en/