350m peo­ple world­wide live with di­a­betes

The Pak Banker - - Front Page -

KARACHI

Three hun­dred and fifty mil­lion peo­ple world­wide live with di­a­betes, 80 per cent of them in the de­vel­op­ing World.

The World Di­a­betes Day, cel­e­brated an­nu­ally on 14 Novem­ber, is gain­ing ex­treme im­por­tance at ev­ery level as the dis­ease is be­com­ing more wide­spread each year due to a com­bi­na­tion of age­ing pop­u­la­tions and the glob­al­iza­tion of un­healthy life­styles.

Di­a­betes is one of the most com­mon non­com­mu­ni­ca­ble dis­eases and un­less di­ag­nosed and treated early, it can lead to se­ri­ous ill-health.

Ev­ery year, more than three mil­lion peo­ple who have had di­a­betes die from prob­lems such as heart at­tacks, strokes and kid­ney fail­ure.

Ac­cord­ing to the World Health Or­ga­ni­za­tion, di­a­betes­re­lated deaths will in­crease by two-thirds by 2030. The UN Sec­re­tary-Gen­eral, Baan Kimoon in his mes­sage is­sued on the eve of World Di­a­betes Day 2012, said Di­a­betes is a de­vel­op­ment is­sue.

It would be ap­pro­pri­ate to men­tion that the United Nations made World Di­a­betes Day an of­fi­cial UN day in 2006 as a mark to rec­og­nize the chronic, de­bil­i­tat­ing and costly na­ture of the dis­ease, Dr. Baan Ki-moon ex­pressed his con­cern that the poor are dis­pro­por­tion­ately at risk, and af­fected fam­i­lies are of­ten pushed fur­ther into poverty.

"On this World Di­a­betes Day, let us com­mit to greater col­lec­tive ef­fort to pre­vent di­a­betes and im­prove the qual­ity of life of all who suf­fer from it, par­tic­u­larly the poor and dis­ad­van­taged," he said.

Di­a­betes is also strain­ing na­tional health sys­tems and threat­en­ing to re­verse hard- won de­vel­op­ment gains in low- and mid­dle-in­come coun­tries, as well as the achieve­ment of the Mil­len­nium De­vel­op­ment Goals by 2015. Gov­ern­ments across the globe are strug­gling to pro­tect their cit­i­zens from fac­tors that in­crease the risk of di­a­betes. These in­clude un­healthy diet, phys­i­cal in­ac­tiv­ity and al­co­hol abuse.

Many gov­ern­ments also face chal­lenges in pro­vid­ing es­sen­tial di­a­betes in­for­ma­tion, treat­ment and care to those who need them most.

In Septem­ber 2011, the United Nations Gen­eral Assem­bly rec­og­nized di­a­betes and other non­com­mu­ni­ca­ble dis­eases as a global health and de­vel­op­ment chal­lenge, and com­mit­ted to strengthen their preven­tion and con­trol.

At the World Health Assem­bly in May 2012, gov­ern­ments es­tab­lished a new and wel­come goal of re­duc­ing pre­ma­ture mor­tal­ity caused by chronic dis­eases by 25 per cent by 2025.

We can sig­nif­i­cantly ad­vance this goal by rais­ing aware­ness of the threat of di­a­betes, said the UN sec­re­tary gen­eral.

Phys­i­cal ac­tiv­ity and healthy diet are ef­fec­tive reme­dies that should be ac­tively pro­moted by all gov­ern­ments.

He said pri­mary health care should be strength­ened to di­ag­nose and treat di­a­betes early. Health com­pa­nies can con­trib­ute by de­vel­op­ing af­ford­able medicines and tech­nolo­gies, such as low-cost de­vices to check blood su­gar, said Dr. Baan Ki Moon. "Busi­nesses, es­pe­cially those that profit from sell­ing pro­cessed foods to chil­dren can com­mit to mar­ket­ing health­ier, more sus­tain­able goods," he added.

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