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Reaching entire populations with information relevant to the prevention of diabetes and its complications is a challenge wherever it is faced. However, given the complex issues of literacy, multi-ethnic communities, language differences and cultural variations, these problems are compounded in developing nations. In this article we describe a campaign co-funded by the World Diabetes Foundation, the Endocrine and Metabolic Diseases Trust of Sri Lanka, and the charitable Sri Lanka Education Fund held in Trust at Sherwood Forest Hospitals NHS Trust. This campaign has sought to reach a large part of the population of Sri Lanka with education intended to reduce the present explosion of diabetes and its complications in this developing nation. Copyright © 2006 John Wiley & Sons.