Diabetes associations applaud federal government for commitment to Aboriginal
Diabetes Initiative

OTTAWA, March 5 /CNW/ - The Canadian Diabetes Association and the National Aboriginal Diabetes Association applaud the federal government for its decision to renew the Aboriginal Diabetes Initiative (ADI) as presented in the budget announcement on March 4.

"We are pleased that the federal government has listened to our concerns and made the decision to renew this very important initiative," said Ellen Malcolmson, President and CEO, Canadian Diabetes Association. "Without the government's support more than 600 programs supporting Canadian Aboriginals living with diabetes would be at risk. We are confident that these programs can continue their very important work."

The 2010 budget will allocate $285 million over two years for a range of health programs for Aboriginal Canadians, including the ADI, the Aboriginal Youth Suicide Prevention Strategy, maternal and child health, the Aboriginal Health Human Resources Initiative, and the Aboriginal Health Transition Fund. Funding for the Aboriginal Diabetes Initiative, which was first announced in 2005, had been set to expire on March 31, 2010.

The Canadian Diabetes Association and the National Aboriginal Diabetes Association had recently launched a campaign to ensure that the government understood the benefits of the ADI, and the critical need for its renewal. Efforts at both the grassroots and senior levels were ultimately successful.

"Now community healthcare providers can get on with the job of providing the very important services that they do for our Aboriginal communities," said Dina Bruyere, Executive Director, National Aboriginal Diabetes Association. "All that remains to be confirmed is the exact level of funding specifically allocated to the ADI over the next two years."

While the government has given every indication that funding for the next two years will be at the same level as 2009-2010, this was not specifically confirmed in the budget announcement. The budget simply notes that the programs have been renewed, and provides a global funding figure for all five programs. Specific funding allocations for the ADI are expected to be confirmed soon.

"We look forward to continuing to work with the government on this exceptionally important initiative," added Ms. Malcolmson.

About the Canadian Diabetes Association

Across the country, the Canadian Diabetes Association is leading the fight against diabetes by helping people with diabetes live healthy lives while we work to find a cure. We are supported in our efforts by a community-based network of volunteers, employees, healthcare professionals, researchers and partners. By providing education and services, advocating on behalf of people with diabetes, supporting research and translating research into practical applications - we are delivering on our mission. For more information, please visit diabetes.ca or call 1-800-BANTING (226-8464).

SOURCE Canadian Diabetes Association

For further information: For further information: Jeremy Brace, Canadian Diabetes Association, (416) 671-2155, jeremy.brace@diabetes.ca

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