Sarah's speech to Parliament on Diabetes

Sarah Ludford on behalf of the ALDE Group. - Mr President the diabetes time bomb has stopped ticking and has actually exploded so I am delighted that the Danish Presidency - as well as Parliament (where we also have Danish influence) - are supportive of a specific focus on diabetes. The fact that it accounts for 10% of our health care costs is reason enough. While the onset of Type I diabetes in children and teenagers is quite sudden Type 2 diabetes is often not diagnosed until it has been present for some years. This leads to complications such as blindness and kidney and heart disease which are both devastating and expensive and account for a lot of those costs. As the Commissioner noted not all diabetes is preventable and I would specifically mention those 10 to 15% who have Type I.

MEPs demand urgent EU action on diabetes

London Liberal Democrat MEP Sarah Ludford has strongly welcomed today's European Parliament resolution on diabetes that she played a large part in securing.

This calls on the European Commission and member states to adopt an EU strategy to combat the steep rise in diabetes through prevention (of Type 2) to improve treatment and boost research. 32 million people across Europe have the disease - predicted to be 50 million in 2025 - with 325000 deaths a year attributed to it.

The EU must waste no time in developing a strategy to tackle diabetes, writes Sarah Ludford.

Cancer and Alzheimer's have deservedly been the subject of EU concern in recent years. But when you look at the figures on the incidence of diabetes the failure of the EU to come up with a specific strategy for tackling this disease is inexplicable.

Diabetes falls into the category of 'non-communicable diseases' or NCDs ones which are non-infectious so you cannot catch them. They include asthma heart disease and strokes as well as diabetes. In the rich world the incidence of these conditions represents a public health emergency already but developing countries are set to catch up. At a landmark summit held in September UN member states pledged their commitment to address the global NCD crisis and MEPs passed a resolution urging effective EU action.

World Diabetes Day: Tackling disease should be EU priority

Marking World Diabetes Day London Liberal Democrat MEP Sarah Ludford co-chair of the European Parliament's EU Diabetes Working Group is urging the EU and member states to act with urgency before the alarming diabetes epidemic overwhelms our health services.

Sarah Ludford commented:

"30 million Europeans already suffer from diabetes and that is expected to rise to 50 million by 2025. This ticking time bomb will soon explode and impact hard on national healthcare systems. In the UK 3 million people already have the disease costing 10% of the NHS budget."

Time for an EU Diabetes Strategy

A senior UK Liberal Democrat MEP is calling for urgent development of an EU strategy on diabetes to deal with the epidemic increase of the chronic debilitating disease and to focus spending on prevention and research for a cure as well as on improving treatment. She is today chairing a meeting of the EU Diabetes Working group on national diabetes plans and the road towards an EU strategy.

Currently around 30 million people suffer from (types 1 and 2) diabetes in the EU with figures expected to rise to around 50 million by 2025. In the UK at least 3 million people have the disease and it costs 10% of the NHS budget not least the cost of treating serious complications like the effects on eyes kidneys and circulation.

Ticking bomb of diabetes is EU public health emergency

Sarah and EP President jerzy Buzek having blood glucose tested

Sarah Ludford with the President of the European Parliament Jerzy Buzek (centre) and her fellow MEP co-chairs of the Parliament's relaunched diabetes working group Simon Busuttil (left) and Marisa Matias (right) about to have their blood glucose level tested.

Sarah to co-chair EU diabetes group

London Liberal Democrat MEP Sarah Ludford has been made a co-chair of the European Parliament's cross-party Diabetes Working Group having been active in it for a number of years. The group is supported by the International Diabetes Federation Europe which groups dozens of national diabetes organisations including Diabetes UK.

Sarah has a family connection in that her husband Steve Hitchins has had diabetes for 40 years and is chair of the UK branch of the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation which exists to find the cure for type 1 diabetes and its complications. She commented:

EU urged to outlaw discrimination against diabetics

To coincide with the re-launch of the EU Diabetes Working Group in the European Parliament and World Diabetes Day London Liberal Democrat MEP Baroness Sarah Ludford is pressing EU bodies to tackle the big problem of discrimination against diabetics throughout Europe especially in job bans.

45 million people in Europe of which 1.8 million people in the UK have the condition.

Most countries operate blanket bans on employment of diabetics in at least some jobs which involve driving or flying such as the emergency services or armed forces. Sarah Ludford said:

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