International diabetes delegates give thanks at the birthplace of insulin

    The International Diabetes Federation visit Banting House Museum to thank
    Canada for its gift of insulin ahead of its World Diabetes Congress in

LONDON, ON, and BRUSSELS, Belgium, Oct. 15 /CNW/ - A delegation from the International Diabetes Federation (IDF) today visited the Banting House National Historic Site of Canada in London, Ontario - the birthplace of insulin - to share the world's gratitude to Sir Frederick Banting and Canada for this life-saving medication. Over 250 million people live with diabetes worldwide, many of whom depend on insulin to survive. The delegation left a blue circle - the global symbol for diabetes and a copy of the UN Resolution on Diabetes.

"We are here to give thanks to Frederick Banting for the gift of insulin. It was a remarkable achievement that brought life to many. At the same time we express outrage that, almost 90 years after the break-through discovery, Banting's life-sustaining medicine remains beyond the reach of many, leaving them to a certain death," said Professor Martin Silink, President of the International Diabetes Federation.

Banting - a Canadian medical scientist - and a team working at the University of Toronto made the research breakthrough that resulted in the discovery of insulin in 1921. Hailed as a miracle drug at the time of its discovery, insulin remains an essential, life-saving treatment for people with type 1 diabetes. This historic connection as the birthplace of insulin is one of the reasons that the International Diabetes Federation (IDF) selected Canada as the ideal location for its 20th World Diabetes Congress which will begin in Montreal later this week.

Held in cooperation with the Canadian Diabetes Association and Diabète Québec, the 20th World Diabetes Congress in Montreal will be one of the world's largest medical conferences - a mega-event expected to attract over 12,000 delegates to the Palais des Congrès de Montréal from October 18 to 22, 2009. Key opinion leaders from the global diabetes community - from over 160 countries - will converge on Montreal to discuss the burning issues of diabetes.

Joining IDF at the Banting House were its Canadian Member Associations - the Canadian Diabetes Association and Diabète Québec along with various diabetes dignitaries. The event featured a small ceremony where a replica of the diabetes blue circle and the UN Resolution on Diabetes (61/225) were handed over to the Banting Museum. This is not the first time IDF has visited. The youth of International Diabetes Federation buried a time capsule on the grounds in November 1991 to signify "the hope for a world without diabetes" and in July 1989, Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth, the late Queen Mother lit the Flame of Hope which will be extinguished when a cure for diabetes is found.

IDF felt it important to return and bring the new symbols of hope for a world without diabetes back to Canada. In 2006, the International Diabetes Federation led the Unite for Diabetes campaign which led to the passage of a United Nations Resolution on Diabetes 61/225. The Resolution was the culmination of a dream of a teenage girl - Clare Rosenfeld - who gave IDF the idea for the Resolution. A blue circle was created as the global symbol for the campaign. After the Resolution's passage, it was adopted as the global symbol for diabetes.

World Diabetes Day was first created in 1991 by IDF and the World Health Organization. The United Nations Resolution on Diabetes designates November 14 as a United Nations Day. It is celebrated each year on November 14 to commemorate the birthday of Sir Frederick Banting. The campaign is run by IDF and its more than 200 Member Associations in over 160 countries.

    Note to Editors

Diabetes in Canada

North America has one of the highest prevalence rates of diabetes in the world, with over 9% of the adult population living with diabetes. In Canada, 9.3% of adults currently have diabetes and this figure is expected to rise to 11.1% by 2025 according to IDF. According to the Canadian Diabetes Association and Diabète Québec more than 3 million Canadians will be living with diabetes by 2010. In addition, more than 6 million Canadians have prediabetes, placing them at significant risk of developing type 2 diabetes. Particularly alarming is that nearly 80 percent of new Canadians arrive from populations at high risk of diabetes (Asian, South Asian, African, or Hispanic descent).

About the IDF World Diabetes Congress

Organized by the International Diabetes Federation every two years, the World Diabetes Congress will highlight the latest developments in clinical research, showcase new data on the diabetes pandemic, and promote political action to tackle diabetes. Health ministers and officials will join the world's leading diabetes experts to share knowledge, experiences and innovative solutions to address the diabetes threat. Find out more at

The International Diabetes Federation (IDF) is an umbrella organization of over 200 member associations in more than 160 countries, representing over 250 million people with diabetes, their families, and their healthcare providers. The mission of IDF is to promote diabetes care, prevention and a cure worldwide. Its main activities include education for people with diabetes and healthcare professionals, public awareness campaigns and the promotion and exchange of information. IDF is a non-governmental organization in official relations with WHO and associated to the United Nations' Department of Public Information. For more information, please visit

SOURCE Canadian Diabetes Association

For further information: For further information: Media Contacts: Jeremy Brace, Canadian Diabetes Association, Office: (416) 408-7071, Mobile: (416) 671-2155, Email:; Kerrita McClaughlyn, International Diabetes Federation, Office: +322 5431639, Mobile: +32487 530625, Email:

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Canadian Diabetes Association

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International Diabetes Federation

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