The Deputy will be pleased to learn that mortality rates from diabetes in this country are lower than the European average.
There are two forms of diabetes, insulin-dependent diabetes which usually occurs before 25 years of age, possibl in early childhood. At this time it is not known why children develop diabetes. The second form of diabetes, non-insulin dependent diabetes, occurs in adulthood. Children with diabetes are often symptomatic and come to medical attention quickly. However, people with poorly controlled diabetes or who do not know that they have diabetes may develop the complications associated with diabetes. These include heart attack, stroke, poor circulation to the legs and damage to the eyesight and kidneys. The health promotion unit of my Department has therefore provided financial support over the past number of years for information programmes to raise awareness of diabetes and the ways in which the complications associated with it can be prevented.
Ireland is a signatory to the St. Vincent's Declaration, an initiative of the World Health Organisation. The Declaration set out clear outcome targets aimed at reducing major health problems associated with diabetes and identified the indicators that can be used to monitor progress towards these targets.