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‘Diabetes patients could increase to 600 million by 2035’, official says

Nov 17, 2015, 10:51 AM | Article By: Abdou Rahman Sallah

The number of people living with diabetes type 2, the most common type, could reach 600 million by the year 2035, said Salieu John, secretary general of Gambia Diabetes Association.

More than 387 million people were living with diabetes as of 2013, according to reports.And the World Health Organisation estimates that 90 per cent of all diabetics are suffering from type 2.

Mr John said delay in diagnosing the disease means that many people with type 2 suffer from at least one complication by the time they are diagnosed with diabetes.

He was speaking at a press briefing recently held at NaNA conference hall in commemoration of World Diabetes Day on November 14.

The theme for this year is ‘Healthy living and diabetes’ and it is focused on healthy eating as a key factor in the fight against diabetes and a cornerstone of global health and sustainable development.

He explained that healthy lifestyle could prevent up to 70 per cent of type 2 diabetes and healthy eating can help reduce the risks.

The SG of Gambia Diabetes Association said they encourage diet containing leafy vegetables, fresh fruits, lean meat and nut to help reduce risk of type 2 diabetes and also to reduce complications in diabetics.

“Encouraging a healthy eating habit in young children is very essential to halting the rise of the diabetes epidemic in our children,” Mr John said, adding that this will help ensure the health of future generations.

He said access to affordable healthy food is essential to reducing the global burden of diabetes and ensuring global sustainable development.

Global health spending to treat diabetes and manage complications linked to it was estimated to cost $612 billion in 2014.

Experts said 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.

Similarly, up to 70 per cent of type 2 diabetes cases can be prevented or delayed by adopting healthier lifestyles.

It is said that the number of people with diabetes in low and middle income countries will continue to grow, posing a threat to sustainable development in such countries.

For example, by 2035, the number of people with diabetes in the African region is expected to double.

World Diabetes Day, November 14, was created by the International Diabetes Federation and the World Health Organisation in 1991 in response to concern over the escalating incidence of diabetes around the world.