16_1_37_38_Meeting-Report-IDF_logoReflections from IDF-WDC 2015

Dr Caroline Day reports from the International Diabetes Federation World Diabetes Conference in Vancouver, Canada, November 30th to December 4th 2015


The Vancouver Convention Centre hosted more than 8000 delegates at the International Diabetes Federation (IDF) biennial World Diabetes Conference (WDC). British Columbia’s largest city is one of the wettest in Canada – downtown Vancouver has an annual rainfall of 62 inches – but claims to enjoy the mildest winter temperatures on the Canadian mainland. Unlike the dull and drizzly weather, the meeting was motivational and bright.

Satellites and sessions

The satellite symposia were generally well attended, but of the 22 symposia – half of which were held prior to the scientific sessions – only four were accredited, two of which can be viewed online.1,2 However, the scientific sessions were awarded 24 CMEs.

More than 1500 abstracts were included at IDF-WDC with about half being presented as posters and the remainder delivered orally across 10 parallel sessions – invariably attractive sessions ran simultaneously. The programme provided for a plethora of interests and the UK was well represented amongst the presenters. In addition to the IDF Lectures (Table 1), there were excellent review and update lectures – surfing the webcasts is highly recommended. A USB stick (supplied by Astra-Zeneca when the trade exhibition opened on 1st December) replaced the traditional Abstract book, but abstracts can now be accessed online,3 as can posters and webcasts of the scientific programme.4


IDF Atlas 2015

The 7th edition of the IDF Diabetes Atlas – available in print as well as online – was launched at the conference.5 It is slimmer than the previous edition with briefer appendices providing only data for 2015. The projected world population will increase from today’s 7.3 billion to 9 billion in 2040. Rural depopulation, a shift to urban environments and diabetogenic lifestyles are expected to continue, leading to a 54% increase in the number of cases of diabetes (415 to 642 million) by 2040. This will add an additional 19% to global health spending on diabetes. The 2015 prevalences of impaired glucose tolerance (6.7%) and diabetes (8.8%) are predicted to rise to 7.8% and 10.4%, respectively, by 2040.

Enhancing capacity

The Pubic Health Foundation of India (PHFI), in association with the government of India and the IDF, launched the Diabetes Capacity Enhancement Programme. This will bring together specialists from the South Asian continent to share their expertise on the prevention of diabetes and its complications, care of people with diabetes and management systems, including workforce development to expand professional capacity to deal effectively with the increasing prevalence of diabetes in the region.

Eye health

The Fred Hollows Foundation announced the availability of Diabetes Eye Health: A Guide for Health Professionals, a document specifically written for primary healthcare practitioners. The guide and an associated PowerPoint presentation can be accessed via

The Vancouver Proclamation

The Parliamentarians for Diabetes Global Network (PDGN), which was founded at the 2013 IDF-WDC in Melbourne,6 met in Vancouver and reported on progress in implementing the Melbourne Declaration. Motions and debates have been instigated in parliaments around the world, and diabetes as a largely treatable non-communicable disease (NCD) has been raised to the international agenda. The Vancouver Proclamation was signed by parliamentarians from more than 60 countries. This calls on governments to prioritise the United Nations Global Health Targets for diabetes (providing access to universal health coverage for everyone with diabetes) and members of the PDGN committed to campaigning to facilitate change.

NCD Café

NCDs – including diabetes – cause an estimated 36 million deaths a year, which is greater than all other diseases combined. The NCD Alliance (a multisectorial partnership of which the IDF is a founder member) hosted a series of interactive sessions at the NCD Café. Practical approaches to advocacy and implementation of change were discussed with experiences from diabetes and other NCDs, enhancing awareness of opportunities, highlighting obstacles and providing inspiration.

Advocacy and action

The coming together of advocacy and action was exemplified in a poster describing the journey to secure a regular supply of insulin to patients in Malawi and ensure a continuity of supply following completion of the initiating project. A direct procurement system has been established and the taskforce is maintaining pressure for the supplier discount to be passed down the chain to diabetes patients.7

The IDF Life for a Child programme currently helps more than 17,000 youngsters in 46 countries access insulin and necessary diabetes care, and the Kids and Diabetes in School (KiDs) project aims to increase awareness of the needs of pupils with diabetes and provide staff training ( The Diabetes Education Network for health professionals (D-NET) is an online platform (www. connecting over 2500 members worldwide to communicate and learn about topical issues in diabetes education and care.

IDF-WDC 2017

If an average temperature of 210C, 10 hours of sunshine a day and no rain in December sounds enticing, start preparing for the 2017 IDF-WDC in Abu Dhabi.


1.                 Connecting care in type 2 diabetes: Implementing a multidisciplinary team

2.                 Weight management across the prediabetes-diabetes spectrum.

3.                 IDF-WDC 2015. Abstracts.

4.                 IDF-WDC 2015. Scientific sessions.

5.                 IDF Diabetes Atlas 2015, 7th edition. International Diabetes Federation, Brussels, 2015.

6.                 Sanders AM. The Melbourne Declaration on diabetes. Br J Diabetes Vasc Dis 2014;14:35-7.

7.                 Meanwell D, Ngoma NJ, Ntambalika T, et al. Access and affordability of insulin in Malawi: enhancing stakeholder and patient empowerment. IDF-WDC 2015, Abstract: 0719-PD. file:///G:/data/HtmlApp/main.html#0


Dr Caroline Day
Visiting Fellow, Diabetes Group,
Aston University, Birmingham B4 7ET, UK

Br J Diabetes 2016;16:37-38



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