Established in 1991 by the International Diabetes Federation, World Diabetes Day aims to raise awareness of this disease to achieve increased access to affordable and quality diabetes care. The awareness campaign will take place on 14th November.
The global prevalence of diabetes has almost doubled since 1980, having increased from 4.7% to 8.5% among the adult population.It is a leading cause of kidney failure, and diabetes complications can lead to damage of the heart, blood vessels, eyes,and nerves.
Unfortunately, lifestyle risk factors for developing type 2 diabetes have increased. Therefore, it is critical to promote and encourage eating a healthy diet, getting regular physical activity, maintaining healthy body weight and stopping tobacco use for the prevention or delay of type 2 diabetes.
Diabetes may also be delayed or treated with medication and regular screening.
The increasing number of people who have diabetes, or are at diabetic risk, is placing added strain on healthcare systems. Therefore, early diagnosis is critical for all types of diabetes as it can prevent a medical emergency and reduce the risk of medical complications later in life. Thus, it is critical that healthcare professionals are aware of how to detect and diagnose the condition as early as possible.
People living with diabetes must have easy access to the care they require, and to ongoing education,so that they understand how to manage their condition properly. This also includes the ability to carry out daily self-care practices to avoid complications.
However, even after 100 years since insulin was discovered– a hormone that controls the amount of glucose in the bloodstream – millions of diabetic people are still unable to access this necessary medication for managing their condition and preventing complications.
Over the past decade, the prevalence of diabetes has increased faster in low and middle-income countries than in high-income countries. As a result, WHO launched the Global Diabetes Compact in 2021, a global initiative that is focused on making improvements in diabetes prevention and care, particularly among low and middle-income countries. The goal is to ensure diabetic patients have equitable access to affordable and quality care.
World Diabetes Day hopes to draw attention to this critical global health problem, in order to highlight the need for better access to diabetes treatment.
Source United Nations
Image Credit: iStock