It’s World Health Day today and the WHO has issued a call to action to “Beat Diabetes”.
Diabetes is a set of diseases that result in excessive amounts of sugar in the blood a.k.a high blood glucose. Type 2 diabetes is among the most common types of diabetes and it occurs when the body stops using insulin properly ultimately leading to “insulin resistance”. The other common types are
- Type 1 diabetes
- occurs due to lack of insulin production
- poorly understood form of diabetes
2. Gestational diabetes
- occurs during pregnancy
- risk factor for pregnancy related complications
- increased risk of Type 2 diabetes for both the mothers and their children.
Diabetes is a metabolic disorder and its long term complications include heart disease, strokes, diabetic retinopathies, kidney failure and poor blood flow to the limbs that could result in amputations. It is also among the leading cause of death. In 2012 nearly 1.5 million deaths were directly attributed to diabetes. Early diagnosis, management of blood glucose levels through diet, physical activity and medication when necessary and routine screenings are not only cost-effective but are effective interventions to prevent diabetes-related complications from occurring or worsening.
A new study published in The Lancet this month has raised the alarm by showing that there has been quadrupling of the number of people with diabetes since 1980. The pooled analysis of 751 population-based studies involving nearly 4.4 million participants from 146 countries shows increasing burden of diabetes, more so in low and middle income countries than in high-income countries. This number is startling and is a wake up call to public health and health care professionals.
Diabetes is a treatable disease and efforts to prevent/treat it, will help achieve MDG 3 target of preventing premature mortality from noncommunicable diseases by one-third by 2030. We should be working together to raise awareness about diabetes with a particular focus on low and middle income countries, scale up prevention strategies that are specific, effective and affordable.
For this campaign, WHO has created a quiz-take it to test your knowledge!
Together we can Beat Diabetes!
Note: This was cross-posted to my blog