Who We Are
IADA is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization dedicated to ensuring vulnerable people in humanitarian crises have access to quality diabetes care and to stop the unnecessary disability and death of people living with diabetes in these settings. It is a partnership of organizations from different sectors ranging from humanitarian organizations, intergovernmental and UN agencies, to academic institutions, civil society, philanthropic organizations and the private sector, that is developing concrete collaborative initiatives to increase access to and quality of care for people with diabetes in humanitarian settings. The partnership leverages the unique skills, expertise and capacities of both public and private member organizations, to develop and implement bold initiatives with policy-relevant outcomes to make certain that quality diabetes care is globally accessible to the most vulnerable populations affected by humanitarian crises.
Diabetes is one of the most common non-communicable diseases (NCDs) with approximately half a billion people affected globally, of which 80% live in lower- and middle-income countries. Individuals with diabetes are particularly vulnerable in humanitarian crises. Type 1 diabetes is arguably the most life-threatening NCD, since lack of access to insulin and continuity of care place them at immediate risk of death. Persons with type 2 diabetes also share an enormous morbidity burden and are especially vulnerable to infections and worse outcomes. The current COVID19 pandemic highlights the challenges for diabetes care on a global scale as reports show more severe disease and increased mortality in people with diabetes due to COVID19, compounded by a limited workforce, overwhelmed health systems and disrupted supply chains for essential medical supplies.Learn More
Forced migration is at record high levels with 79.5 million people displaced from their homes in 2019. 85% of those affected are being hosted in low-income or middle-income countries and 77% are living in protracted refugee situations with the average duration of displacement now being over 20 years. In addition, there are >100 million conflict-affected non-displaced people and 175 million people affected by natural disasters annually. Despite projections of increases in both diabetes and humanitarian crises, the provision of diabetes care in humanitarian settings remains scarce and poorly coordinated. Thus, diabetes is a crisis within a crisis that represents an urgent need for advocacy, approaches to ensure delivery of essential care and medications, and surveillance systems to monitor and drive progress.
This was highlighted at a symposium at Harvard University in April 2019, which led to the Boston Declaration which was signed by 64 signatories from over 40 international organizations and published in The Lancet Diabetes & Endocrinology in August 2019. It set four major targets for the group to work towards over the next years:
- Unified and strengthened advocacy
- Universal access to insulin and other essential medicines and diagnostics for glycemic and blood pressure control in humanitarian crises
- Establishment of a unified set of clinical and operational guidelines for diabetes in humanitarian crises
- Improved and coordinated data and surveillance
In order to achieve these goals successfully, sustained collaborative commitment of a diverse network of partners is required. The International Alliance for Diabetes Action (IADA) was therefore established with the goal of ensuring availability and affordability of diabetes treatments and diagnostics and radically improving care for every person with diabetes affected by humanitarian crises.