By the time you’ve finished reading this another Australian will have developed diabetes. That’s the going rate today: one Australian every five minutes.
On 7 April—World Health Day—the World Health Organisation (WHO) is shining a light on the rise of diabetes worldwide. While the epidemic is increasing rapidly in low and middle-income countries, Australia is not immune.
My younger brother was four years old when he was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes mellitus. A previously well child, there were no obvious signs that his pancreas was under an insidious attack from his own immune system until his insulin ran out and he experienced dangerously high blood glucose levels. Like the diabetes itself, the complications of diabetes are hard to detect until considerable damage has already been done.
This week Melbourne welcomes thousands of visitors from around the world to the 22nd World Diabetes Congress.The five day Congress brings together leading health care professionals, experts in the field of diabetes as well as people with diabetes to discuss issues, share knowledge and raise awareness of diabetes.
It's not every day that you get to speak with the Governor-General and the Australian of the Year; shake hands with past Prime Ministers and meet some of Australia's most generous philanthropists; but on Monday that's exactly what I did!