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Canadian Diabetes Association unveils first-ever Diabetes Charter for Canada

A vision for Canadians with diabetes to live to their full potential

OTTAWA, April 7, 2014 /CNW/ - The Canadian Diabetes Association (CDA) released the Diabetes Charter for Canada (Charter) across the country, today, on World Health Day. The Charter aims to empower Canadians with diabetes and their caregivers, while also providing governments with a standard of care to ensure there is comparable support for people living with diabetes across the country.

"The need for the Diabetes Charter for Canada has never been more clear. Diabetes is a public health issue of epidemic proportion—more than nine million Canadians are living with diabetes or prediabetes. They should have the opportunity to access the care and support they need to live the healthiest lives possible," says Canadian Diabetes Association President and CEO J. Richard Blickstead.

"Across Canada, people living with diabetes frequently experience stigma, a lack of public awareness, and misunderstanding about the disease. This is particularly important for those populations with a high prevalence of diabetes or who have special challenges related to diabetes management. These include specific ethnocultural populations and especially Aboriginal peoples, people with low incomes, the elderly, and young people," states Blickstead.

"The Government of Canada is pleased to be working with the Canadian Diabetes Association and promotes collaboration across all sectors to address the risk factors that lead to diabetes, by promoting things like healthy eating, and physical activity," says the Honourable Rona Ambrose, Federal Minister of Health.

"The Canadian Medical Association (CMA) is pleased to support the Diabetes Charter for Canada and we look forward to working with the Canadian Diabetes Association to help ensure all Canadians living with diabetes have timely and equitable access to high-quality care and supports. The number of seniors living in Canada is rising rapidly, as is the number of seniors living with diabetes so it is critical that all governments come together to devise a seniors care strategy, one that helps ensure good care for Canadians living with chronic conditions such as diabetes," says Dr. Chris Simpson, President-Elect of the Canadian Medical Association.

The Diabetes Charter for Canada is the shared voice of the diabetes community including people with diabetes, their caregivers and health-care providers. It presents a common vision through a set of principles that confirm the commitments of the diabetes community concerning diabetes prevention and management, support and care.

The guiding principles of the Canadian Diabetes Association in developing the Charter are to: ensure that people who live with diabetes are treated with dignity and respect; advocate for equitable access to high-quality diabetes care and supports; and enhance the health and quality of life for people who live with diabetes and their caregivers.

"The Diabetes Charter for Canada will serve as a catalyst for positive change over time, and help all Canadians living with diabetes reach their full health potential," adds Blickstead.

Canadians from coast to coast are invited to participate in this important nationwide initiative by signing the Diabetes Charter for Canada online at www.MyDiabetesCharter.ca.

About the Diabetes Charter for Canada
The Canadian Diabetes Association developed the Charter through extensive research and consultation, which consisted of: a literature review of health and patient charters developed in Canada and internationally; a panel of subject matter experts including Canadians with diabetes and health professionals to identify key issues affecting people with diabetes; four consultative workshops attended by more than 80 Canadians within the diabetes community; and a survey verifying the rights and responsibilities proposed in the workshops.

An advisory committee of health-care providers and diabetes advocates were consulted regularly and overall, more than 200 people across Canada have been involved in developing the Charter.

About the Canadian Diabetes Association
The Canadian Diabetes Association is a registered charitable organization, leading the fight against diabetes by helping people with diabetes live healthy lives while we work to find a cure. Our professional staff and more than 20,000 volunteers provide education and services to help people in their daily fight against the disease, advocate on behalf of people with diabetes for the opportunity to achieve their highest quality of life, and break ground towards a cure. Please visit diabetes.ca, join us on www.facebook.com/CanadianDiabetesAssociation follow us on Twitter @DiabetesAssoc, or call 1-800-BANTING (226-8464).

SOURCE Canadian Diabetes Association

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