Journalists from Argentina and Greece win Novo Nordisk Media Prize 2007

Novo NordiskJournalists Gabriela Navarra from Argentina and Michael Kefalogiannis from Greece won the Novo Nordisk Media Prize 2007 for the best article in lay press and the best TV feature about diabetes, respectively. The awards were presented by the president and CEO of Novo Nordisk, Lars Rebien Sørensen, during a ceremony held on 28 August in Copenhagen.

The Novo Nordisk Media Prize recognises journalists who through excellent journalism have helped increase public awareness of diabetes - a disease growing at epidemic rates, today affecting more than 246 million people in the world. The prize has been awarded annually since 2003, and in this year's contest Gabriela Navarra and Michael Kefalogiannis competed with writers and journalists from 18 countries. In addition to the honour of winning the award, each of the winners receives a prize of 12,000 euros.

Gabriela Navarra's article was published in La Nación Revista – a weekly Sunday magazine in Argentina. Gabriela tells the story of how people deal with and overcome diabetes. Adults and children share their fears and difficulties, but all of them centre on the same idea: fighting is always worthwhile. She also tells the story of the discovery of insulin, raises and explains important myths about diabetes, lists the new treatments and explains the psychological aspects of diabetes. She wrote the story about diabetes to put the topic on the agenda in a balanced way. She wants people to talk about diabetes the same way they talk about any other topic.

Michael Kefalogiannis won for his diabetes feature on 'Health for all', a popular weekly show on the Greek national TV company NET. Michael presented the scientific truth about diabetes in a way that everyone can understand in order to counter the lack of diabetes awareness in Greece. In a very simple way, he tells about both type 1 and type 2 diabetes, diabetes in pregnancy, the 'sweet' time bomb, pre-diabetic symptoms, undiagnosed diabetes and inheritance, and provides information about the latest news within diabetes.

Professor Simon Heller, chairman of the international jury, explains the decision of the jury: "Gabriela's article creates the human connection that moves you while adding knowledge. She raises and explains important myths about diabetes in a very informative and factually correct way. "With regard to Michael's contribution, he states: "It initiates a discussion that is also interesting for people without diabetes and provides a lot of all-round knowledge about diabetes. It therefore touches the essence of this prize: diabetes should be a concern of everyone in the world."

Lars Rebien Sørensen says: "The majority of cases of type 2 diabetes are preventable if people understand what causes the disease and what can be done to prevent it. The media play a crucial role in creating this awareness, and the entries in this year's Media Prize contest are excellent examples of how it can be done."

About diabetes

  • Diabetes could become the worst pandemic of the 21st century. Today, already more than 246 million people worldwide have diabetes. This number is expected to increase by 7 million people every year, killing as many people as HIV/AIDS.
  • Every 10 seconds two people develop diabetes. At the present rate, the number of those with diabetes globally may grow to more than 380 million people by 2025. The largest increases in diabetes prevalence will take place in developing countries.
  • Diabetes is the fourth leading cause of global death by disease. Every 10 seconds a person dies from diabetes-related causes. Each year 3.8 million deaths are attributable to diabetes.
  • In 2007, the five countries with the largest numbers of people with diabetes are India (40.9 million), China (39.8 million), the United States (19.2 million), Russia (9.6 million) and Germany (7.4 million).
  • At least 50% of all people with diabetes are unaware of their condition. In some countries this figure may reach 80%.
  • Up to 80% of type 2 diabetes is preventable by adopting a healthy diet and increasing physical activity.

About Novo Nordisk
Novo Nordisk is a healthcare company and a world leader in diabetes care. The company has the broadest diabetes product portfolio in the industry, including the most advanced products within the area of insulin delivery systems. In addition, Novo Nordisk has a leading position within areas such as haemostasis management, growth hormone therapy and hormone replacement therapy. Novo Nordisk manufactures and markets pharmaceutical products and services that make a significant difference to patients, the medical profession and society. With headquarters in Denmark, Novo Nordisk employs approximately 25,350 people in 79 countries, and markets its products in 179 countries. Novo Nordisk's B shares are listed on the stock exchanges in Copenhagen and London. Its ADRs are listed on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol 'NVO'. For more information, visit www.novonordisk.com.

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