What a week! I left New York City for Dubai for the International Diabetes Federation World Congress last week. Only 18 hours traveling time with a 4 hour stop in Zurich! Ouch! ;-)
First day in Dubai on the metro heading to the waterfront my husband gets kicked out of the subway car! Unbenownst to us we're in the "Women and Children Only" car. Have to say they were really nice about it, but Toto, we were not in Kansas anymore.
The conference gathered almost 15,000 people from around the world. Reason for Dubai location? 6 out of the 10 countries with the highest incidence of diabetes are in the Middle East and Northern Africa. Just about one in 4 or one in five have diabetes. You can get a little more meat about the conference in my Huffington Post article, http://www.huffingtonpost.com/riva-greenberg/international-diabetes-federation-congress_b_1129128.html, and see the complete conference in pictures and captions on my flickr coverage: ttp://www.flickr.com/photos/71272098@N04/
I didn't get much time in the Exhibition Hall as I was covering the press briefings but one great new product I caught is called "Timesulin." It's a cover that fits all insulin pens and it counts in seconds/minutes/hours since when you took your last injection. No guessing if you took your shot or not. Expect to see it first quarter of next year.
IDF President Jean Claude Mbanya was a passionate roaring lion for the cause, "We must empower the people! It must be a people's movement. That is what will get governments and businesses to change policies to treat and prevent diabetes," he growled. CEO Ann Keeling was open, honest and pragmatic saying while the organization has a fair way to go having gotten the UN Summit on Non Communicable Diseases accomplished this past September they are hopeful change is in the air over the next few years. We shall see.
I felt privledged to be there. I saw my fair share of Sheiks and women shrouded in Burkas. Sat opposite the 7-story luxury Burj Al Arab hotel (with its own private helicopter pad). No I was not staying anywhere in the area. And now I feel renewed as I'm about to spend a week taking in Tel Aviv which appears to be a delicious bistro society. Just minutes from the Mediterranean, I'll probably have no idea where I am when I wake up tomorrow.
Don't forget to get a look at the photos and may peace be with you.