The International Diabetes Federation (IDF) is an association of more than 200 diabetes associations spread in around 158 countries. For more than last 50 years, the IDF has remained in the forefront of diabetes related activities. IDF functions in close collaboration with the Department of Public Information of the United Nations, the World Health Organization (WHO) and the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO). The IFD summarizes its purpose in these simple but significant words: "To promote diabetic care, prevention, and a cure world wide."
A press release issued by the IDF in December, 2006 indicated that "the disease now affects a staggering 246 million people worldwide, with 46% of all those affected in the 40-59 age group. Previous figures underestimated the scope of the problem, while even the most pessimistic predictions fell short of the current figure. The new data predict that the total number of people living with diabetes will skyrocket to 380 million within twenty years if nothing is done."
The International Diabetes Federation conducts a number of programs for care of persons with diabetes and for educating the people and professionals about diabetes. Some of the current (2007) programs include:
- IDF Task Force on Insulin, Test Strips and Other Diabetes Supplies
- IDF Task Force on Clinical Practice Guidelines
- IDF Consultative Section on Diabetes Education (DECS)
- IDF worldwide definition of the metabolic syndrome
- Type 2 diabetes, the metabolic syndrome and cardiovascular disease in Europe
- Definition and Diagnosis of Diabetes Mellitus and Intermediate Hyperglycaemia
- IDF Child Sponsorship Program
Publications by the International Diabetes Federation include the following books :
- Diabetes Atlas, Third Edition
- 19th World Diabetes Congress Abstract Book
- 19th World Diabetes Congress Abstract CD-Rom
- IDF Activity Report 2003-2006
- Diabetes education modules
- Diabetes and Foot Care: Time to Act
- Global Guideline for Type 2 Diabetes
- The IDF Consensus Worldwide Definition of the Metabolic Syndrome
- 10 Steps to Better Glucose Control: A Practical Guide
- Diabetes and Obesity: Time to Act
- Diabetes and Kidney Disease: Time to Act
- Cost-effective Approaches to Diabetes Care and Prevention
- Global Strategic Plan to Raise Awareness of Diabetes
- International Consensus on the Diabetic Foot
- International Curriculum for Diabetes Health Education
- Guide for Guidelines. A guide for clinical guideline development
The International Diabetes Association has collected and published  certain data under the caption Did You Know? relating to occurrence and prevalence of diabetes. These data indicate the enormity of the diabetes prevalence and indicate that pointed efforts are required to manage the position. Some of the data:
- Around 246 million people have diabetes in the world and the largest concentration of people with diabetes are in India (40.9 million), China (39.8 million), the USA (19.2 million), and Germany (7.4 million)
- Each year around 7 million more people will suffer from diabetes - every ten seconds one person develops diabetes, and every ten seconds a person dies of diabetes. Diabetes is the fourth leading disease causing death.
- Around 50% of the people affected with diabetes are unaware of their condition, and in some countries this figure may be around 50%.
- Type 2 diabetes may be prevented to the extent of 80% by a healthy diet and increasing physical activities like moderate exercise and walking.
- Most of the [kidney]] failure may be attributable to diabetes, and 10% to 20% of the people with diabetes die of renal failure.