Symposia & Initiatives

Diabetes and Pregnancy: A Public Health Issue


Panelist Biographies

Manuel Carballo, M.D.
Executive Director, International Centre for Migration, Health and Development, Geneva, Switzerland

Dr. Manuel Carballo is an epidemiologist as well as the Executive Director of the International Centre for Migration, Health and Development (ICMHD) in Geneva. He holds a Professorship in Clinical Public Health at Columbia University, Mailman School of Public Health in New York and is an Adjunct Professor of Public Health at Tulane University in New Orleans. Serving as an advisor to the EU and Council of Europe on migration and health issues, he has been responsible for a number of new initiatives on this theme in Europe in recent years.

Prior to ICMHD, he worked with the World Health Organization (WHO) in a number of countries on maternal and child health. He was responsible for the WHO International Study on Breast Feeding and the WHO/UNICEF International Code of Marketing of Breastmilk Substitutes. In 1986, he was one of the three-person team chosen to establish the WHO Global Programme on AIDS (GPA) and remained there until 1992 as Chief of Behavioural Research. In 1993 he went to Sarajevo as WHO Public Health Advisor until the end of the war in 1995, after which he served as an adviser to the Minister of Health of Bosnia. He joined ICMHD in 1995 and has been responsible for a number of major reports on migration and the changing nature of communicable and non-communicable diseases in Europe and other parts of the world.

He is currently responsible for a collaborative twelve country study of diabetes and migration and is also developing a new initiative on gestational diabetes and maternal health in the Caribbean and Central America.

Mapoko Mbelenge Ilondo, M.D., Ph.D.
Director, Global Diabetes Partnerships, Novo Nordisk A/S, Copenhagen, Denmark;
Associate Professor, University of Kinshasa

Dr. Ilondo was born and grew up in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, where he experienced firsthand the burden of disease facing developing countries. The high mortality in his local community became the main driver that made him choose to study medicine, and he entered the School of Medicine at the University of Kinshasa in 1968. After obtaining his MD, he moved to Europe to continue his education. He was trained in Pediatrics and Endocrinology at the University of Leuven in Belgium and received a Ph.D. in Cell Biology. He then returned to the DRC and worked for three years as a researcher and clinician at the University of Kinshasa before joining Novo Nordisk in Denmark in 1990. For 11 years, Dr Ilondo was in Research & Development, spending four years doing research on growth hormone in the Department of Molecular Endocrinology at the Hagedorn Research Institute in Gentofte (Denmark), then seven years in clinical development working on various projects.

In 2001, prompted by the heated debate on access to health in developing countries and faced with the growing challenge of the diabetes epidemic, Novo Nordisk launched several initiatives aimed at improving standards of diabetes care in Asia, Africa and Latin America (including the Caribbean). Dr. Ilondo took on the challenge of managing and coordinating that program. One major activity developed in collaboration with the International Diabetes Federation and in coordination with the WHO AFRO is the Declaration of Africa on Diabetes, an initiative aimed at organizing sustainable diabetes care on the continent by mobilizing national governments and other stakeholders involved—both internal and external. In parallel with his position as Senior Advisor in the Department of Corporate Stakeholder Relations at Novo Nordisk-Denmark, Dr. Ilondo has taken up a position as associate professor at the University of Kinshasa.

He is a member of several international scientific societies, including the European Society for Pediatric Endocrinology, the Endocrine Society USA), the Growth Hormone Research Society and the Professional Section of the American Diabetes Association.

Ms. Joyce Kafanabo
Chair, Council on Gender-based Health at the UN;
Minister Plenipotentiary, Permanent Mission of the Republic of Tanzania to the United Nations in New York

Joyce Kafanabo has since August 2004 been working as a Minister Plenipotentiary at the Permanent Mission of the United Republic of Tanzania to the United Nations in New York. At the Tanzania Mission Ms. Kafanabo is responsible for all Social, Cultural and Humanitarian issues; this includes work in the Third Committee of the General Assembly, The Commission on the Status of Women, The Commission for Social Development; Humanitarian, Women and Children's thematic debates and issues in the Security Council. Kafanabo is also the Chair for the Council on Gender-based Health for the United Nations.

Prior to joining the Mission in New York, Ms. Kafanabo worked extensively on promoting equality issues between men and women in Tanzania. From 1997 to 2004, she worked in the President's Office - Office of Public Service Management as the Head of a Gender Unit responsible for mainstreaming gender and the advancement of women in the civil service; She was very instrumental in the mainstreaming of gender in the public service employment and management policies, leadership training for women and instituting an HIV training program from a gender perspective; from 1996 to 1997 she worked as a Project Manager for a Women's Training and Credit Program, and was from 1990 to 1993 a Chairperson of a Women's Research and Consultancy Group at the Institute of Development Management Mzumbe, (now Mzumbe University) Ms. Kafanabo has presented numerous papers and conducted various trainings on gender issues and the advancement of women.

An accountant by profession, Ms. Kafanabo was from 1983 to 1995 a lecturer in Accountancy, Management Accounting, Financial management and Auditing. She has a Masters degree in Finance from Strathclyde University in Glasgow, Scotland, a Certified Management Accountant certificate from the Society of Management Accountants of Ontario, Canada and an Advanced Diploma in Certified Accountancy from the Institute of Development Management, now known as Mzumbe University, in Tanzania.

Dr. Anil Kapur, M.D.
Managing Director, World Diabetes Foundation (WDF), Copenhagen, Denmark

Dr. Anil Kapur, an internist by training, was named Managing Director of the World Diabetes Foundation in 2006. He has been associated with the foundation since its inception in 2002, previously serving on its Board as Vice Chairman.

He has approximately 30 years of work experience in clinical medicine, clinical research, business and public health. Dr. Kapur has worked in several capacities in the pharmaceutical industry: initially as Medical Advisor, Medical Director, then as Managing Director for Novo Nordisk India. Later, he was Vice President of the Novo Nordisk Regional Office in India and Vice-President of Novo Nordisk Corporate Stake-holder Relations - Asia. He set up and served as managing trustee of the Novo Nordisk Education Foundation in India.

Dr. Kapur has published more than 60 papers in the areas of internal medicine, clinical pharmacology and diabetes in Indian and international journals. He has also written monographs on diabetes for medical professionals and books for lay people. He has coordinated several large studies such as the "DiabCare Asia India," "Cost of Diabetes Care in India" and the "National Urban Diabetes Survey." Dr. Kapur also developed a nutritional software package called NINA. Sought after as a lecturer, he has given many talks on diabetes in India and other countries.

Elaine M. Wolfson, Ph.D.
President and Founder, Global Alliance for Women's Health (GAWH)

Elaine M. Wolfson, Ph.D. is Founding President of the Global Alliance for Women's Health (GAWH), a non-governmental organization (NGO) with consultative status with the United Nations Economic and Social Council. Since its formation GAWH has been a leader in advocating, developing and articulating policy for improving women's health in all stages of life throughout the world.

She is the founder of the NGO Health Committee; the Friends of the UN Diabetes Resolution; and the Council on Gender-based Health for the United Nations.

Dr. Wolfson was educated at Smith College (BA), New York University (MA and Ph.D.) and the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania (certificate). She has taught graduate courses in political science and public policy at New York University; the State University of New York (SUNY), Stony Brook; the City University of New York (CUNY), Baruch; and Rutgers University, Newark. She currently serves as a member of the Advisory Board of the George Washington University Africa Center for Health and Human Security and also as a member of the Executive Board of the Association for Diplomatic Studies and Training (ADST). She has been a consultant to UN agencies such as WHO and INSTRAW. Her publications on women's health include monographs, articles and edited compilations.