World Diabetic Day today Over 425M people living with diabetes worldwide
By A Staff Reporter
Kathmandu, Nov. 14: The World Diabetic Day is being marked on Wednesday by organising various awareness programmes here in the country.
The day is being marked globally with the theme of, “The Family and Diabetes”.
About 91 million people in the South-East Asia Region live with diabetes, with around 49 million unaware of their condition, according to the World Health Organisation (WHO).
As per the International Diabetes Federation over 425 million people are currently living with diabetes, while one in two people currently living with diabetes is undiagnosed.
Undiagnosed or poorly controlled diabetes type 1 and type 2 can cause heart, kidney, nerve and eye damage, as well as premature death, the WHO stated in it statement.
Families that know the signs, symptoms, risks and complications of diabetes are best positioned to prevent the disease and seek medical care to manage it, WHO said.
The WHO emphasised the importance families have in creating awareness of the risks of diabetes, including overweight and obesity and in preventing and managing it, is apparent.
Families provide a ready-made means to instil healthy habits that last a lifetime, dramatically reducing the risk of diabetes type 2, which accounts for the majority of diabetes cases.
They can also help ensure the disease is detected and managed effectively. Doing so will avoid complications and the costs it results in for individuals, families, communities and countries.
As part of the Region’s Flagship Priority of tackling noncommunicable diseases (NCDs) – to which diabetes is a major contributor,Member States Region-wide can empower families to address the disease and enhance health outcomes, the WHO said.
That should occur at the same time as increasing access to services for diabetes and other NCDs at the primary health care level, as outlined in the Colombo Declaration adopted Region-wide in 2016. There are several ways to do this.
First, health authorities should ensure all families have access to educational resources that help them better understand diabetes.
This can be done via social and behavioural change campaigns that emphasise the family unit as a first line of defense, at the same time as highlighting how they can work together to develop healthy habits and diminish the risk of diabetes.
Second, and to enable this, health authorities can work across sectors to increase the access individuals and families have to healthy environments. The creation of green spaces and outdoor gyms in urban areas, for example, can facilitate exercise and the weight management it brings.
So too can policies to decrease the amount of sugar and fat in foods and enhance people’s ability to make healthier choices, the WHO stated.
And third, all families should have access to affordable diabetes medicines, medical products and care. This starts with ensuring services at the primary level are equipped to detect the disease and that a reliable supply of medicines and medical products used to manage it are on hand. It extends to ensuring those medicines and medical products are affordable to all and are of adequate quality.
Every year November 14 is marked as the World Diabetes Day. The day was first introduced in 1991 to spread awareness about diabetes its causes, its prevention and the devastating effects it has on the human lives.