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Springtime meetings

Early springtime in London saw the first meeting of the executive group of the IDF Parliamentarians for Diabetes Global Network (IDF-PDGN) since the Parliamentary Champions Forum at the World Diabetes Congress in Melbourne.

A dinner for the Global Sponsors was hosted by President of the IDF-PDGN Adrian Sanders MP, and attended by IDF President Sir Michael Hirst, Vice President of IDF-PDGN The Hon Dr. Rachael Nyamai and Global Coordinator The Hon Judi Moylan.

Discussions also took place to further develop the Global Network, which since the Melbourne Congress has grown from 55 to 87 members.

New members growing

New member have come in from diverse countries including Australia, Kenya, Morocco, New Zealand,  the Philippines and Morocco.

There has also been plenty of action in national Parliaments with new debates and activities ranging from health checks to the establishment of a new Parliamentary Group in Malta.


Vice President of the IDF-PDGN the Hon Dr. Rachael Nyamai MP set the pace holding several breakfast meetings with Members of the Parliament of Kenya, encouraging dialogue in the parliament. She presented a diabetes bill, which was accepted by the budget committee and has made plans for a statement on the floor of the parliament about the importance of diabetes prevention during the month of October, coinciding with a health day in the venue.

The Hon Dr. Rachael Nyamai MP addressing the crowd at a free medical camp hosted by the Kitui south constituency CDF office.


Research focus

Research was the focus in February, when Mr. Adrian Sanders MP who is also the Chairman of the All Party Parliamentary Group on Diabetes, chaired a dinner meeting in the House of Commons on UK Life Sciences and Global Ambition to Cure type 1 Diabetes hosted by JDRF UK. The dinner was followed the next day by a lunch in the Commons tfor children with diabetes and their families. These events highlighted the need for global collaboration to find a cure for type 1 diabetes.

Second Westminster Testing Event Hailed as a Great Success

On 25-26 March volunteer nurses recruited by the Foundation of European Nurses in Diabetes (FEND), were kept busy as 143 Members including Ministers and Shadow Ministers and Staff of the British Parliament from the Lords and the Commons happily submitted themselves to blood glucose tests to encourage others to do the same.

In raising a gallant finger to be pricked for the cause, members signaled their avid support for the global campaign of the IDF-PDGN to help prevent the further rise of the diabetes pandemic.

For those interested in British history, the event took place in the historic 12th Century Westminster Hall, where Charles 1 was tried for treason, where Churchill lay in state and where Nelson Mandela addressed both Houses of the UK Parliament.

Hon Theresa May MP - Home Secretary - getting her blood glucose tested by a volunteer from FEND. (Picture courtesy of Novo Nordisk)


Sir Michael Hirst, President of the International Diabetes Federation attended the event, which took place over two days.

The campaign was generously sponsored by Novo Nordisk and Roche Diagnostics and supported by the International Diabetes Federation. Anne-Marie Felton, President and co-founder of FEND, organized the volunteer nurses.

IDF-PDGN President, Adrian Sanders MP, who hosted the event was delighted that numbers had increased since the first occasion testing for diabetes was offered in Parliament.

Reflecting on the occasion, President Sanders said: “Holding a testing event is a very simple way of raising the profile of diabetes within a Parliament and offering a service to the people who work there, both elected representatives and those who support them.”

President of the IDF-PDGN Adrian Sanders MP with President and co-founder of FEND Anne-Marie Felton and IDF President Sir Michael Hirst.


A New Diabetes Working Group!

The island of Malta enjoys a time-honoured reputation for courage and humanitarian endeavor. Most recently its Parliament has opened a new front – the foe being diabetes!

Opposition Leader The Hon Dr. Simon Busuttil attended the proceedings of the Global Forum in Melbourne where he was elected Vice President of the IDF-PDGN.

On May 7 Dr. Busuttil was reported in the Times of Malta as appealing vigorously to the Parliament for non-partisan political support for people with diabetes and the professionals engaged in their care. 

A working group resulted, comprising MP’s from both sides of the House, committed to awakening the electorate to the threat posed by diabetes and alerting the House to patients’ needs. Health professionals, non-government organisations and people with diabetes joined them.

Former Health Minister Godfrey Farrugia assumed the role of President of the new group.

A video message from IDF President Sir Michael Hirst was an encouraging and a stimulating start to the proceedings.

Members of the newly formed Parliamentary Diabetes Group of Malta with the Hon Dr Simon Busuttil - Vice President IDF-PDGN and Mr Godfrey Farrugia MP Former Health Minister


Diabetes Health Checks prove popular

Meanwhile “down-under”, diabetes health checks at a drop-in centre in the Australian Parliament proved a great success. The Chief Government Whip, the Hon Phillip Ruddock MP, was amongst those to take advantage of a diabetes health check.

Mr. Ken Wyatt MP and Mr. Graham Perrett MP, the Co-Chairs of Parliamentary Friends of Diabetes, jointly hosted the event with Diabetes Australia. It proved irresistibly popular and will certainly be repeated next year.

Mr Ken Wyatt MP and Mr. Graham Perrett MP, the Co-Chairs of Parliamentary Friends of Diabetes.

Prevention the theme for lunch in Australian Parliament

Prevention was the key theme of a well-attended luncheon for MP’s in the Australian Parliament jointly hosted by Diabetes Australia and Parliamentary Friends of Diabetes. Internationally renowned Stephen Colagiuri, Professor of Metabolic Health, University of Sydney, was the keynote speaker along with Professor Greg Johnson, CEO of Diabetes Australia.

(Left to right) - Professor Stephen Colagiuri, Guest Speaker, Senator Christine Milne, Leader of the Greens, Mr Graham Perrett MP, Co-Chair of the Parliamentary Friends of Diabetes and Professor Greg Johnson, Guest Speaker. (Picture courtesy of Diabetes Australia)

Australia’s new National Diabetes Strategy Advisory Group prepares to Report in 2015

The National Diabetes Strategy Advisory Group established by the Australian government, is now formally underway. It is expected to present a new National Diabetes Strategy Report to the Minister for Health the Hon Peter Dutton MP by April 2015.