World diabetes expert to address national seminar

The Malta Diabetes Association is encouraging people to take the first step and get tested for diabetes.

The Malta Diabetes Association is encouraging people to take the first step and get tested for diabetes.

Andrew Boulton, International Diabetes Federation President Elect and world leading diabetes expert, will address a national diabetes awareness seminar on Saturday at 9am at San Anton Palace, Attard.

This initiative has been organised by MEP Francis Zammit Dimech, who co-chairs the European Parliament’s EU Diabetes Working Group, in collaboration with the Malta Diabetes Association and under the auspices of President Marie-Louise Coleiro Preca.

Prof. Andrew BoultonProf. Andrew Boulton

Prof. Boulton will be talking about ‘Type 2 Diabetes Across the World: The 21st Century Epidemic’. Renowned for his work in the field, Prof. Boulton is Professor of Medicine at the University of Manchester in the UK, Consultant Physician at the Manchester Royal Infirmary and Voluntary Professor of Medicine at the University of Miami, Diabetes Research Institute in the US.

He is a leading endocrinologist who has authored more than 500 peer-reviewed manuscripts and book chapters, mainly on diabetic lower limb and renal complications. He has also received numerous international awards and has been recently sworn into office at the International Diabetes Federation General Assembly as the federation’s president elect.

According to the IDF, diabetes currently affects 425 million adults worldwide and is set to affect close to 700 million people by 2045. The disease, associated with numerous debilitating complications affecting the eyes, heart, kidneys, nerves and feet, is also one of the leading causes of death worldwide.

Diabetes currently affects 425 million adults worldwide

Last November the world marked World Diabetes Day, the world’s largest diabetes awareness campaign reaching a global audience of over one billion people in more than 160 countries.

The theme was ‘Women and diabetes – our right to a healthy future’. The federation states that diabetes is the ninth leading cause of death in women globally, causing 2.1 million deaths per year and while there are currently over 199 million women living with diabetes, this total is projected to increase to 313 million by 2040.

The Malta Diabetes Association joins forces, internationally, to create more awareness by encouraging people through their initiatives to take the first step and get tested for diabetes. This national seminar is also to raise diabetes awareness locally.

In addition to Prof. Boulton, speakers will include Chris Delicata, chair/European Coalition for Diabetes and vice president of the Malta Diabetes Association, and Stephen Fava, Professor of Medicine at the Faculty of Medicine and Surgery at Medical School, Mater Dei Hospital, president of the Association of Physicians Malta and head of the Diabetes and Endocrine Centre at the University of Malta.

Mr Delicata explained that while the association had 1,000 registered members there were around 40,000 people living with diabetes in Malta. The low number in membership is due to the stigma associated with people having a long-term chronic condition such as diabetes, he said.

“It is not easy to overcome the stigma. However, as an association we are hopeful that through the our awareness events the situation will improve and ultimately make people more confident of their condition.”

Entrance to the National Diabetes Awareness Seminar is free. One can e-mail to reserve a seat.

Prof. Boulton’s visit to Malta forms part of an ongoing diabetes awareness campaign and was also made possible thanks to the support of the EPP Group in the European Parliament. For more information, look up Narrative Structures on Facebook.

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