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Alison Seabeck, MP for Plymouth, Moor View, joined volunteers from the International Diabetes Federation (IDF), Bayer and Novo Nordisk to raise awareness of the increasing prevalence of diabetes in the UK. Alison attended a diabetes testing event in Parliament following on from the success of World Diabetes Day held last November.
Diabetes is a significant and growing health issue, affecting over 300 million people worldwide. The IDF believes that, unless action is taken, this could rise to 500 million within a generation . The IDF and its member organisations – which include Diabetes UK – is working to improve the political and public awareness of the diabetes pandemic and the critical interventions that are necessary to counter it.
Around 2.9 million people have been diagnosed with diabetes in the UK, but it is estimated that a further 850,000 people may be living with the condition without realising it . This means that around 1 in 16 people in the UK are living with the disease – or approximately 5,770 people in the average constituency. If diagnosed early, diabetes can be actively managed to help mitigate the serious consequences of the disease.
Ms Seabeck had a diabetes test and met with healthcare professionals at a special event in Westminster to find out more about the disease. The event was held with the support of healthcare companies Bayer and Novo Nordisk.
Alison Seabeck said: “I’m delighted to be supporting the work of the International Diabetes Federation in raising awareness of diabetes in Parliament. Diabetes is a growing health problem both in the UK and around the world, but if it is detected early then it can be actively managed. I would encourage anyone who is concerned about diabetes to speak to their GP about having a blood glucose test. It only takes a few minutes, but it could save you years of illness.”
Sir Michael Hirst, President-Elect of the IDF said: “We welcome the support of Alison Seabeck MP in raising awareness of diabetes through our parliamentary event. Last November millions of people around the globe came together to mark World Diabetes Day. We hope that the two-day event helps create further awareness in the UK of the condition and its consequences.”
Commenting on the event, Viggo Birch, Managing Director of Novo Nordisk Ltd said: “At Novo Nordisk, we are committed to fighting diabetes and advancing diabetes care for the benefit of the growing numbers of people living with the condition. The public, private and third sectors must continue working together to make progress in the fight against the diabetes pandemic. Awareness days such as this are a step towards ensuring that those living with this chronic disease in the UK, receive the optimum care that they truly deserve.”
A Bayer spokesperson said: “As a market leader in the field of blood glucose monitoring systems, Bayer is delighted to be involved in the International Diabetes Federation awareness day. Diabetes is an issue that affects people across the UK. By working closely with Members of Parliament, we hope they will take the message back to their constituents and aid in raising awareness.”