World Diabetes Congress (10.12.2013)

Written on the 12 December 2013

Ms CROZIER (Southern Metropolitan) -- The World Diabetes Congress was held in Melbourne last week over five days. It was the largest health conference ever to be held in Australia, with 10 500 delegates from over 100 countries attending. It was an outstanding success on a number of levels. Delegates who were scientists, researchers, physicians, diabetes educators, nurses, advocates and parliamentarians visited our state. Delegates came together to share their experiences and knowledge and understand further how we can best manage and treat this devastating disease, one that is a burden to us all. Every 3 seconds someone develops diabetes, and every 6 seconds someone in the world dies from the complications of diabetes.

On Friday, before the congress commenced, I attended an event where the International Diabetes Federation (IDF) and the Fred Hollows Foundation announced a 10-year partnership to tackle diabetic retinopathy, a very common complication of diabetes that causes blindness.

In terms of putting together the congress, I would like to especially acknowledge the work of the president of the IDF, Sir Michael Hirst; Anne-Marie Felton, the vice-president of the IDF, who described the program, with over 2423 abstracts, as a kaleidoscope of information; and Professor Paul Zimmet, AO, from the Baker IDI Heart and Diabetes Institute here in Melbourne, who is program chair of the World Diabetes Congress. Together they did an extraordinary job.

The sessions I attended and chaired, including 'Tackling obesity -- innovative health promotion programs in the community', were really well received.

I also acknowledge Dr Shelley Bowen, who is coordinating the Healthy Together Victoria program, which is running throughout the state in a number of local jurisdictions.

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