The World Health Organisation (WHO) on 6 April 2016 released its first Global Report on Diabetes. The report was released to mark the World Health Day 2016 that was celebrated on 7 April with the theme - Beat Diabetes.
The report underscored the enormous scale of the diabetes problem across the world and suggested various measures to reverse current trends.
Highlights of Global Report on Diabetes
• Global Burden: Globally, an estimated 422 million adults were living with diabetes in 2014, compared to 108 million in 1980.
• Over the past decade, diabetes prevalence has risen faster in low and middle-income countries than in high-income countries.
• Diabetes caused 1.5 million deaths in 2012. Higher-than-optimal blood glucose caused an additional 2.2 million deaths, by increasing the risks of cardiovascular and other diseases.
• The majority of people with diabetes are affected by type 2 diabetes. This used to occur nearly entirely among adults, but now occurs in children too.
• Economic impact: Diabetes and its complications bring about substantial economic loss to people with diabetes and their families and to health systems and national economies through direct medical costs and loss of work and wages.
• Preventing diabetes: Type 1 diabetes cannot be prevented with current knowledge.
• Effective approaches are available to prevent type 2 diabetes and to prevent the complications and premature death that can result from all types of diabetes.
• To tackle this enormous problem, there is a need for a whole-of-government and whole of-society approach, in which all sectors systematically consider the health impact of policies in trade, agriculture, finance, transport, education, etc.
• National capacity for prevention and control of diabetes: National capacity to prevent and control diabetes as assessed in the 2015 NCD Country Capacity Survey varies widely by region and country income level.
• Only one in three low- and middle-income countries report that the most basic technologies for diabetes diagnosis and management are generally available in primary health-care facilities.
• Access to insulin and other essential medicines: The lack of access to affordable insulin remains a key impediment to successful treatment and results in needless complications and premature deaths.
• Essential medicines critical to gaining control of diabetes, such as agents to lower blood pressure and lipid levels, are frequently unavailable in low- and middle-income countries.
• Recommendations: Countries can take a series of actions, in line with the objectives of the WHO Non Communicable Diseases (NCD) Global Action Plan 2013–2020, to reduce the impact of diabetes.
• Establish national mechanisms such as high-level multi-sectoral commissions to ensure political commitment, resource allocation, effective leadership and advocacy for an integrated NCD response, with specific attention to diabetes.
• Set national targets and indicators to foster accountability. Ensure that national policies and plans addressing diabetes are fully costed and then funded and implemented.
• Prioritize actions to prevent people becoming overweight and obese, beginning before birth and in early childhood.
• Implement policies and programmes to promote breastfeeding and the consumption of healthy foods and to discourage the consumption of unhealthy foods, such as sugary sodas.
• Strengthen the health system response to NCDs, including diabetes, particularly at primary care level. Implement guidelines and protocols to improve diagnosis and management of diabetes in primary health care.
The findings of WHO’s Global Report on Diabetes is concurrence with a study published by the Lancet journal in 6 April 2016. Highlights of the study -
• The study is related to worldwide trends in diabetes since 1980 and based on a pooled analysis of 751 population-based studies with 4.4 million participants.
• As per the study, the number of adults with diabetes in the world increased from 108 million in 1980 to 422 million in 2014.
• Out of them, 28.5 percent of cases were reported due to the rise in prevalence, 39.7 percent due to population growth and ageing, and 31.8 percent due to interaction of these two factors.
• Further, global age-standardised diabetes prevalence increased from 4.3 percent in 1980 to 9.0 percent in 2014 in men, and from 5.0 percent to 7.9 percent in women.
• If post-2000 trends continue, the probability of meeting the global target of halting the rise in the prevalence of diabetes by 2025 at the 2010 level worldwide is lower than 1 percent for men and is 1 percent for women.
• Only nine countries for men and 29 countries for women, mostly in Western Europe, have a 50 percent or higher probability of meeting the global target.
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