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April 8, 2016

World Health Day 2016

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The theme for World Health Day 2016 is Diabetes, a noncommunicable disease (NCD) directly impacting millions of people of globally, mostly in low- and middle-income countries. WHO is focusing this World Health Day on diabetes because:

  • The diabetes epidemic is rapidly increasing in many countries, with the documented increase most dramatic in low- and middle-income countries.
  • A large proportion of diabetes cases are preventable. Simple lifestyle measures have been shown to be effective in preventing or delaying the onset of type 2 diabetes. Maintaining normal body weight, engaging in regular physical activity, and eating a healthy diet can reduce the risk of diabetes.
  • Diabetes is treatable. Diabetes can be controlled and managed to prevent complications. Increasing access to diagnosis, self-management education and affordable treatment are vital components of the response.
  • Efforts to prevent and treat diabetes is important to achieve the global Sustainable Development Goal 3 target of reducing premature mortality from noncommunicable diseases (NCDs) by one-third by 2030. Many sectors of society have a role to play, including governments, employers, educators, manufacturers, civil society, private sector, the media and individuals themselves.

Goal of WHD 2016 – Scale up prevention, strengthen care, and enhance surveillance

The main goals of the World Health Day 2016 campaign are the following :

  • Increase awareness about the rise in diabetes, and its staggering burden and consequences, in particular in low-and middle-income countries;
  • Trigger a set of specific, effective and affordable actions to tackle diabetes. These include steps to prevent diabetes and diagnose, treat and care for people with diabetes; and
  • Launch the first Global report on diabetes, which describes the burden and consequences of diabetes and advocate for stronger health systems to ensure improved surveillance, enhanced prevention, and more effective management of diabetes.

Facts about Diabetes

Diabetes is a chronic, metabolic disease characterized by elevated levels of blood glucose which may over time lead to serious damage to the heart, blood vessels, eyes, kidneys, and nerves. The prevalence of diabetes has been steadily increasing in the past few decades, in particular in low- and middle-income countries. Knowledge exists to reverse this trend through targeted prevention and appropriate care.

  • About 347 million people worldwide have diabetes – There is an emerging global epidemic of diabetes that can be traced back to rapid increases in overweight, including obesity and physical inactivity.
  • Diabetes is predicted to become the 7th leading cause of death in the world by the year 2030 -Total deaths from diabetes are projected to rise by more than 50% in the next 10 years.
  • There are two major forms of diabetes – Type 1 diabetes is characterized by a lack of insulin production and type 2 diabetes results from the body’s ineffective use of insulin.
  • A third type of diabetes is gestational diabetes – This type is characterized by hyperglycaemia, or raised blood sugar, with values above normal but below those diagnostic of diabetes, occurring during pregnancy. Women with gestational diabetes are at an increased risk of complications during pregnancy and at delivery. They are also at increased risk of type 2 diabetes in the future.
  • Type 2 diabetes is much more common than type 1 diabetes – Type 2 accounts for around 90% of all diabetes worldwide. Reports of type 2 diabetes in children – previously rare – have increased worldwide. In some countries, it accounts for almost half of newly diagnosed cases in children and adolescents.
  • Cardiovascular disease is responsible for between 50% and 80% of deaths in people with diabetes – Diabetes has become one of the major causes of premature illness and death in most countries, mainly through the increased risk of cardiovascular disease (CVD).
  • In 2012 diabetes was the direct cause of 1.5 million deaths
  • 80% of diabetes deaths occur in low- and middle-income countries – In developed countries most people with diabetes are above the age of retirement, whereas in developing countries those most frequently affected are aged between 35 and 64.
  • Diabetes is a leading cause of blindness, amputation and kidney failure – Lack of awareness about diabetes, combined with insufficient access to health services and essential medicines, can lead to complications such as blindness, amputation and kidney failure.
  • Type 2 diabetes can be prevented – Thirty minutes of moderate-intensity physical activity on most days and a healthy diet can drastically reduce the risk of developing type 2 diabetes. Type 1 diabetes cannot be prevented.

Source : World Health Organisation

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