World Diabetes Day

World Diabetes Day: Spread awareness now to avoid diabetes later

Health World

World Diabetes Day: In an effort to ensure that everyone has access to high-quality, reasonably priced diabetes care, WHO is urging improved access to high-quality diabetes education for the general public, health and care professionals, and persons with diabetes. Today is World Diabetes Day. Around 422 million people worldwide have diabetes, and the disease directly causes 1.5 million fatalities annually. More than 96 million people are estimated to have diabetes and another 96 million to be pre-diabetic in the WHO South-East Asia Region, which accounts for at least 600 000 fatalities a year. Without immediate intervention, the prevalence of diabetes in the Region is predicted to rise by 68% by 2045.

Diabetes is a chronic metabolic condition that can seriously harm the heart, blood vessels, eyes, kidneys, and nerves if it is not treated appropriately or is identified too late. Type 2 diabetes risk can be decreased by engaging in regular and sufficient physical exercise, eating a nutritious diet, and abstaining from harmful alcohol and tobacco use. If type 2 diabetes develops, it can be controlled with medication, good lifestyle choices, and monitoring of blood pressure and cholesterol levels. More than 250 000 children and adolescents in the Region have type 1 diabetes, which cannot currently be prevented but can be controlled. In order to survive, people with both types of diabetes must have access to affordable medical care, which includes insulin.

In accordance with its Flagship Priorities on preventing and controlling noncommunicable diseases (NCDs) and achieving universal health coverage (UHC), as well as its recently adopted Implementation Roadmap on NCD prevention and control 2022–2030, the Region continues to take targeted action to address diabetes. Nearly all nations now have standardised diabetes treatment guidelines in place and the majority offer at least one hypoglycemic medication at the primary healthcare (PHC) level. The WHO HEARTS-D technical package is assisting PHC staff members in the Region with the diagnosis, treatment, and management of diabetes, speeding efforts to realign health systems, including NCD care, to the PHC level.

Along with 45 other low- and middle-income nations worldwide, WHO facilitated the delivery of insulin contributions to Bhutan, Maldives, Nepal, Sri Lanka, and Timor-Leste in 2021 as part of the COVID-19 response. The Region published a Regional Roadmap for implementing the Global Action Plan on Physical Activity 2018-2030 last year, and it is now on target to achieve a 30% relative reduction in tobacco use prevalence between 2010 and 2025. The Roadmap will assist Member States in reducing the prevalence of insufficient physical activity by 15% relative by 2030, which will assist them in lowering projected increases in the number of new cases of diabetes.

Diabetes education must be maintained and strengthened in order to combat the rise in the disease and save future generations (World Diabetes Day). Health and care professionals must start at the primary level and have the tools and training necessary to identify diabetes early and provide persons with diabetes with the necessary treatment. People with diabetes must have access to comprehensive information on how to best manage their condition, which may include taking their medications as prescribed and getting regular checkups.

Additionally, the general public needs to be fully informed about how to recognise diabetes’ warning signs and symptoms, such as the need to frequently urinate, thirst, constant hunger, weight loss, vision changes, and fatigue, as well as how to prevent the disease by living a healthy lifestyle.