May 13, 2015, 12:34 PM
On 14 November, World Diabetes Day, which was recently observed in The Gambia, a lot of scaring truth about the disease was revealed for all to know and avoid its dangers.
Pertinent calls were also made by experts on all and sundry, including health workers, government, those living with diabetes, and the general public, to play their part in the fight against the escalation of the disease and how to keep it under check.
Whereas the International Diabetes Federation and the World Health Organisation decided in 1991 to set aside November 14 as World Diabetes Day, in response to concern over the escalating incidence of diabetes around the world, the fact remains that the number of people with diabetes in low and middle income countries has continued to grow, posing a threat to sustainable development in such countries.
Health experts have estimated that by 2035, the number of people with diabetes in the African region is expected to double.
While global health spending to treat diabetes and manage complications linked to it was estimated to cost $612 billion in 2014, health experts say up to 11 per cent of the total health care expenditure in every country across the globe could be saved by tackling the preventable risk factors for type 2 diabetes.
There are two main types of diabetes, according to health experts. Type 1 is the case in which the body is unable to produce the hormone insulin, and type 2 is the one in which the body is unable to use insulin effectively.
It is reported that type 2 is the most common form, accounting for around 90 per cent of all diabetes cases worldwide.
However it has also been reported that up to 70 per cent of type 2 diabetes cases can be prevented or delayed by adopting healthier lifestyles, which is the main focus in marking this year’s World Diabetes Day, precisely with the theme: ‘Healthy living and diabetes’, focused on healthy eating as a key factor in the fight against diabetes and a cornerstone of global health and sustainable development.
Therefore, it is essential for all to note that access to affordable healthy food is essential to reducing the global burden of diabetes and ensuring global sustainable development.
This is also the reason the campaign this year calls on all those responsible for diabetes care to improve their knowledge of the disease so that evidence-based recommendations are put into practice, as well as on people living with the disease to adopt healthy lifestyles such as eating healthy food and maintaining physical exercise.
The call also goes to governments to implement effective strategies and policies for the prevention and management of diabetes to safeguard the health of their citizens with and at risk of diabetes.
The general public is as well expected to understand the serious impact of diabetes and know, where possible, how to avoid or delay diabetes and its complications through healthy lifestyles.
It is said a word for the wise is quite sufficient and a message for the caring nation is a blessing.
“Diabetes is a great example whereby, giving the patient the tools, you can manage yourself very well.”Clayton Christensen