Ottawa- Diabetes affects approximately 3.7 million people, with more than 200,000 new cases diagnosed every year, making it one of the most common chronic diseases in Canada. This Diabetes Awareness Month and World Diabetes Day, our government reaffirms its commitment to make meaningful change in the lives of those affected by diabetes.
On this occasion, I am proud to mark an important milestone – the one-year anniversary of the release of the Framework for Diabetes in Canada. The Framework provides a common policy direction to focus efforts to address diabetes and to ensure better health outcomes, including for populations at elevated risk of developing diabetes, people living with diabetes and their caregivers. We have continued to engage Canadians through a series of dialogues in support of the advancement of the Framework and activity on diabetes.
To capture the unique interests, circumstances and perspectives of Indigenous Peoples and communities, a separate Indigenous-led engagement process on diabetes is taking place to allow more time for meaningful and ongoing engagement. This process is being led by the National Indigenous Diabetes Association (NIDA).
We also continue to invest in and support Diabetes Canada as they work with key partners to develop an inventory of successful diabetes programs, interventions, and projects to help address diabetes in Canada. They are also working to advance the Framework by convening individuals living with diabetes, key leaders in public health, diabetes care and education, as well as cultural leaders and organizations, to share innovative and best practices to identify, prevent, and manage diabetes. These initiatives will help improve our understanding of successful programs as we work towards improving the health, well-being, and quality of life of people affected by diabetes.
In November of last year, in partnership with Impact Canada, we launched the Type 2 Diabetes Prevention Challenge for innovators to propose, develop, and implement community-designed approaches that can address the determinants of health and social barriers that can lead to an elevated risk of developing type 2 diabetes. Twenty semi-finalists have been selected for proposing the most promising concepts as part of the first stage of the challenge, and are now working towards designing and proposing fully-implementable plans.
There is still significant work ahead to ensure better health outcomes for people living with diabetes in Canada which is why we continue to support research, through the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR), to address causes, prevention, screening, diagnosis, and treatment of all types of diabetes. Currently, an Indigenous-led research team is studying how best to deliver diabetes prevention and treatment services in First Nations communities in Northwestern Ontario. Another project is working to determine whether physical activity can help young adults with type 1 diabetes overcome mental health challenges.
The number of people living with diabetes in Canada continues to rise and it impacts the lives of millions of individuals and their families. During Diabetes Awareness Month, and today on World Diabetes Awareness Day, I invite everyone in Canada to learn more about this chronic disease so we can take action to prevent it and better support people living with diabetes.
The Honourable Mark Holland, P.C., M.P.