Cheadle MP marks 75th Anniversary of Diabetes UK

January 27, 2009 3:42 PM

Mark helping celebrate the 75th anniversary of Diabetes UK

Mark Hunter, MP for the Cheadle constituency helped Diabetes UK celebrate the 75th anniversary of leading health charity Diabetes UK at a special meeting in the House of Commons which recognised the progress the charity had made and set out the challenges for the years ahead.

Diabetes is a serious condition that, if not managed effectively, can lead to long-term complications such as heart disease, stroke, blindness, kidney failure and amputation. Short-term complications of the condition include hypoglycaemic episodes, known as 'hypos', can lead to unconsciousness and hospitalisation if left untreated. However, effective diabetes management from the time of diagnosis can reduce the risk of these complications.

The famous novelist HG Wells and Dr R D Lawrence, both of whom had diabetes, formed the Diabetic Association in 1934 which later changed its name to the British Diabetic Association. The charity's aim was to ensure that everyone in the UK could gain access to insulin, whatever their financial situation.

This ground-breaking initiative, prior to the existence of a national health service, challenged ideas of how people with diabetes should be treated and from the start believed in support to enable active self-management of the condition. The organisation campaigned actively for the establishment of the NHS and their principles of partnership working, proactive control and lobbying continue to this day.

Speaking at the reception Mr Hunter said: "There are over 4,000 people with diabetes in my constituency alone and with four hundred people being diagnosed with diabetes every day in the UK, or one person every three minutes, it's one of the biggest health challenges currently facing the UK.

"We must work to move diabetes up the political agenda in this, Diabetes UK's 75th anniversary, year if we are to curb this growing health crisis and see a reduction in the number of people being diagnosed with this serious condition."

Diabetes UK Chief Executive Douglas Smallwood, said: "There are three million people in the UK with diabetes. Our mission is to improve the lives of people with the condition and work towards a future without diabetes. In our 75th year we will be remembering the achievements of all our committed supporters: volunteers, members and donors as well as the healthcare professionals, campaigners and Diabetes UK staff who are committed to helping people with diabetes and their families."

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