World Health Organization calls for better access to diabetes education
WHO on Monday called for greater access to quality diabetes education for healthcare professionals, the public and people with diabetes as part of efforts to ensure greater access to quality care and affordable for the disease.
Globally, around 422 million people have diabetes and 1.5 million deaths are directly attributed to diabetes each year, said Dr Poonam Khetrapal Singh, WHO Regional Director for South Asia -Is, on the occasion of World Diabetes Day.
In the WHO South-East Asia Region, more than 96 million people are estimated to have diabetes and another 96 million are prediabetic, causing at least 600,000 deaths annually, she said. .
“By 2045, unless urgent action is taken, the prevalence of diabetes in the region is expected to increase by 68%,” Singh said in a statement.
Diabetes is a chronic metabolic disease. If detected late or mismanaged, it can lead to serious and life-threatening damage to the heart, blood vessels, eyes, kidneys and nerves.
The risk of type 2 diabetes can be reduced by regular and adequate physical activity, a healthy diet and avoiding tobacco and the harmful consumption of alcohol. If developed, type 2 diabetes can be managed with medication, controlling blood pressure and lipids and following a healthy lifestyle, Dr Khetrapal Singh said.
Type 1 diabetes, which affects more than 250,000 children and adolescents in the region, cannot currently be prevented but can be managed. For people living with both types of diabetes, access to affordable treatment, including insulin, is essential to their survival.
WHO is calling for action in several key areas. Policymakers should set time-bound targets to close gaps in service coverage, with a focus on equity and leaving no one behind, Singh said.
Second, high-impact, cost-effective and context-appropriate interventions need to continue to be identified and implemented. For this, the Global Diabetes Compact, launched in April 2021, calls for targeted efforts to strengthen community empowerment and increase private sector engagement, she said.
Third, policy makers must continue to strengthen PHC service delivery, ensuring that diabetes screening and care is available, accessible, acceptable and of adequate quality, without discrimination, accelerating the momentum of the Declaration of Colombo in 2016.
Countries must continue to promote access to essential medicines and priority devices, including insulin, in national benefit packages, a key part of the Region’s flagship priority on UHC, she said. .
“To help halt the spread of diabetes and protect the future, diabetes education must continue to be strengthened. From the primary level, health and care workers must have the necessary resources and knowledge to detect diabetes early and provide adequate care for people living with diabetes. diabetes,” she said in the statement.
“People living with diabetes have a 1.5 times higher risk of being infected with TB,” Singh said.
Gestational diabetes increases the risk of neonatal morbidity and mortality, as well as the likelihood of developing diabetes later in life, she added.
On World Diabetes Day, WHO reiterates its commitment to support all countries in the region to promote and implement policy, legislative and regulatory measures to reduce the risk of diabetes and provide quality and affordable diabetes care to all who need it, without leaving a trace. a behind, she said.
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