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cover image, Diabetes Plan

Diabetes Initiative for the Americas (DIA):
Action Plan for Latin America & the Caribbean, 2001–2006

Objectives  |  Activities  |  Full Text (43 pp, PDF, 1049 KB)

Diabetes is one of the leading health problems in Latin America and the Caribbean, where an estimated 19 million people suffer from this disease. According to projections, unless major preventive actions are taken, this number could rise to 40 million by 2025. In view of the fact that type 2 diabetes is most frequent in obese people and those of low socioeconomic status, the disease represents a serious social burden whose effects are seen both within the health care systems and in the quality of life of diabetic people and their families.

In order to deal with the problem of diabetes from a public health perspective, the proposal calls for people with diabetes, organized interest groups, and multidisciplinary care teams from both the public and private sector to be involved in this plan. Such involvement will strengthen the work with health providers, ensuring the early detection and appropriate management of diabetes and its complications.


The purpose of DIA is to improve the capacity of the health services and systems to organize surveillance and control of diabetes in the countries of the Americas. DIA consists of three principal lines of action which relate to the following three mandates:

  1. improve the availability and use of epidemiological information;
  2. promote the rational use of available services through the implementation or evaluation of programs for diabetes care; and
  3. promote the design and development of educational and self-management programs that take into account the sociocultural characteristics of each region or country.


The Pan American Health Organization, together with the International Diabetes Federation (IDF) and the pharmaceutical industry, in 1996 issued the Declaration of the Americas on Diabetes (DOTA), an action plan that in the last few years has successfully coordinated several activities in the Region. This action plan was intended to combine efforts in the struggle against diabetes, consolidating the experience gained in recent years through direct collaboration with the countries of the area and through the alliance with DOTA and with other organizations and institutions of the Americas.

Recent activities organized by PAHO include a workshop on Chronic Complications and National Strategies for Diabetes Control in Latin America and the Caribbean (Washington, D.C., December 1999), the First Workshop on Strategic Diabetes Planning (Santa Cruz de la Sierra, Bolivia, October 1999), and the First Workshop on Epidemiological Surveillance of Diabetes (San Salvador, El Salvador, March 2000). The information gleaned through these activities has contributed to the design and ongoing review of the objectives of DIA.

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