Professor Thomas Danne, Chairman of the SWEET project, answered questions from Maartje de Wit, an ISPAD Past-Advisory Council member, about what makes SWEET significant and his plans for the future of the project.
Maartje de Wit: If you were to sum up the most important characteristics of SWEET’s work in one sentence, what would they be?
Prof. Thomas Danne: The mission of SWEET is to reduce inequalities in access to and quality of pediatric diabetes care worldwide.
MdeW: Who, or what, inspired the creation of SWEET?
TD: During my time as president of ISPAD it became apparent that we need transparent, real world data in pediatric diabetes to promote change for better outcomes on a local, national and international level.
MdeW: What role did / does ISPAD play in this?
TD: ISPAD is based on the three pillars of advocacy, education and science which are a prerequisite for improving outcomes. The networking through ISPAD allowed the creation of the public-private partnership underlying the non-profit organisation governing SWEET. The ISPAD leadership has a formal seat in the executive board of SWEET. Thus, SWEET would not have been possible without ISPAD.
MdeW: What are SWEET’s plans for the future?
TD: We have now 72 centers in Europe, North and South America, Africa, Asia and Australia participating in SWEET. Besides a sustainable growth of SWEET we also seek collaboration with similar initiatives for a Global Exchange of Quality Initiatives for Diabetic Youth (GEQIDY).