Tomorrow, 14 November, is World Diabetes Day. On this occasion, Commissioner for Health and Food Safety, Stella Kyriakides, made the following statement:
“Today, more than 32 million people live with diabetes in the EU. That is one in ten adults from all walks of life. It is even more concerning that this figure has doubled in the last decade alone.
We must do more to respond to this chronic burden for people's health, their quality of life and our healthcare systems overall. This is why the Commission is working hard to strengthen the prevention, diagnosis and management of diabetes, and to reduce health inequalities across the EU. Prevention is always better than the cure, so we are focusing on measures to enable interventions at an early stage and detect conditions as quickly as possible.
Our ‘Healthier Together' – EU Non-communicable diseases initiative is our vision and framework for Member States to improve citizens' health and well-being, through concerted actions that reduce the impact of non-communicable diseases, including diabetes, as well as health inequalities.
Backed by €53 million from the EU4Health programme – the EU's largest-ever financial contribution to actions on diabetes and cardiovascular diseases, this initiative aims to make a real difference for those at risk of developing diabetes, as well as people living with diabetes and other chronic illnesses, such as cardiovascular diseases.
In addition, tackling diabetes can be done most effectively by working together, and sharing knowledge and expertise. This is why we are also supporting collaborative action amongst Member States with €75 million to improve the collection of data and information on risk factors, such as tobacco and alcohol, lack of physical activity and unhealthy diets. This information will be used to implement targeted prevention programmes, for example health awareness campaigns and best practices.
We are also investing heavily in research, with over €296 million from Horizon Europe to support almost 120 diabetes-related projects.
We continue to work closely with and support Member States through the Expert Group on Public Health to scale-up health promotion and disease prevention activities. Through the EU Health Policy Platform, we support stakeholders in the exchange of knowledge and information on diabetes and other diseases that can further enhance the work of Member States in reducing the impact of these chronic diseases.
We should also remember that the role of citizens in tackling diabetes is crucial. For example, the risk and burden of type 2 diabetes can be reduced by healthier lifestyle choices, such as a healthy diet, physical activity and not smoking, which are decisions that anybody can make. This is why it is important to create an environment that empowers our citizens to make the healthy choice the easy choice.
Diabetes is one of the key health challenges of modern times and this challenge will continue to grow unless we all work together and take immediate action. On this World Diabetes Day, I call on Member States and stakeholders to strengthen their collaboration, so that we can improve the lives of the millions of Europeans living with diabetes. The time to act is now.”
- Publication date
- 13 November 2023
- Representation in Cyprus