Members of Global Alliance for Chronic Diseases to fund landmark research initiative to reduce impact of diabetes

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Summary media release information

26 July 2013
NHMRC Media Release
Contact for further information: 
NHMRC Media Team: 0422 008 512

Diabetes is now one of the most common non-communicable diseases (NCDs) globally.

With the burden of this chronic non-communicable disease ever increasing, members of the Global Alliance for Chronic Diseases (GACD) will issue a call for research proposals that address the prevention and treatment of type 2 diabetes. The focus will be on implementation and intervention research in low- and middle income countries, vulnerable populations in high-income countries and indigenous populations in Canada and Australia.

Over the past twenty years, the global death rate from diabetes has doubled1  and the World Health Organisation (WHO) is predicting that this will increase by two thirds by 2030. It is currently estimated that 347 million people worldwide suffer from diabetes, with more than 80% living in low- and middle-income countries. Of those suffering from diabetes, type 2 comprises 90% of this population around the world2.  The WHO has identified halting the rise of diabetes as a global NCD target and Member States are required to consider it. 

“By 2030, global healthcare expenditure to treat and prevent diabetes is expected to exceed USD $490 billion3.  The personal and economic costs of diabetes to families, communities and countries greatly exceed the direct costs of care. This second funding initiative represents a commitment by GACD members to enhance the evidence available to guide national investments in the global fight against NCDs.”
Susan B. Shurin, MD, Chair of the GACD and deputy director of the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute, part of the National Institutes of Health in the United States.

“One in ten people in China are suffering from diabetes4. It’s now thought to be the country with the highest population of diabetes in the world. The GACD diabetes call aims to be a groundbreaking research effort of over USD22 million of joint funding, which will have a significant impact in the global fight against diabetes.”
Xuetao Cao, PhD, Chair Elect of the GACD and President of the Chinese Academy of Medical Sciences.

Through the launch of this global call, the GACD aims to develop a network of researchers that can enhance the cumulative learning across the individual projects.  They will work jointly to understand the findings and how they might be adapted and applied in different settings and scenarios.

Please visit from August 2013 for further information including links to participating funding agencies web sites and specific details of the call. 

About the Global Alliance for Chronic Disease (GACD)
The GACD was established in 2009 to support clear priorities for a coordinated research effort that will address chronic non-communicable diseases, a growing health crisis now reaching world epidemic proportions globally.

Last year, the GACD funded research projects on hypertension (high blood pressure) prevention and control in 15 low- and middle-income countries (LMICs). The first coordinated funding effort among GACD members; this initiative included 15 community-based research projects that will focus on implementing effective approaches to control high blood pressure.

The GACD funding agencies include:

  • Chinese Academy of Medical Sciences (CAMS)
  • Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR)
  • Research & Innovation DG, European Commission (EC)
  • Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR)
  • Medical Research Council, UK (MRC)
  • National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute (NHLBI)
  • National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC)
  • Medical Research Council, South Africa (MRC)

The International Development Research Centre of Canada will also contribute funding to this initiative.

1Lozano et al; The Lancet, Dec 2012, Vol 380, Issue 9859

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