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By Dr. Mahesh D M, Consultant – Endocrinology

Every year on November 14, the birthday of Sir Frederick Banting, who co-discovered insulin with Charles Best in 1922, World Diabetes Day (WDD) is observed. In response to growing concerns about the escalating health hazard posed by diabetes, the IDF and the World Health Organization established it in 1991. A blue circle emblem is used to signify the World Diabetes Day campaign.

Diabetes and obesity are two serious illnesses that continue to spread around the world. Over the last four to five decades, obesity has steadily increased around the world and is now one of the main causes of ill health in most nations. The implementation of efficient obesity prevention programmes has been delayed and inconsistent despite over two decades of recommendations from reputable national and international organisations, particularly WHO. The three pandemics—obesity, undernutrition, and climate change—represent the Global Syndemic that affects most people in every country and region worldwide. They constitute a syndemic, or synergy of epidemics, because they co-occur in time and place, interact with each other to produce complex sequelae, and share common underlying societal drivers. Interacting with such complexity is challenging for public health. Nonetheless, public–private partnerships with the food industry have been created for multiple purposes, including the promotion of healthy workplaces, the development of foods and drinks low in salt, sugar, and fat, support for local, less processed foodstuffs, environmental protection (e.g., organic production and reduced food miles), and social benefits (e.g., investing through corporate social responsibility).

Diabetes is a significant global challenge to the health and wellbeing of individuals, families, and countries. Half of all people living with diabetes are undiagnosed. 1 in 2 people who need insulin cannot access or afford it. 3 in 4 people with diabetes live in low- and middle-income countries. Diabetes currently affects one in ten people worldwide. The rising number of people affected by diabetes is putting added strain on healthcare systems. Healthcare professionals must know how to detect and diagnose the condition early and provide the best possible care.

Despite being discovered a century ago, millions of people with diabetes still lack access to insulin and other essential diabetes-care supplies. Diabetes patients run the danger of significant and sometimes fatal complications, such as VIZ: Heart Attack, Stroke, Kidney Failure, Blindness, Lower-limb Amputation, without treatment or enough support.

Blood glucose monitoring and oral medications are often necessary for managing diabetes in many people. The first step in controlling and preventing the illness is understanding it. People with diabetes must have access to continual education in order to comprehend their condition and practise the daily self-care procedures necessary to maintain good health and prevent complications.

The second year of the World Diabetes Day 2021-23 campaign is centred around the idea of Educate To Protect Tomorrow. Furthermore, type 2 diabetes can be averted in approximately 50% of cases. People who have diabetes or are at risk for developing it require access to wholesome foods and a fitness centre. Both are essential elements in the treatment and prevention of diabetes.

By 2045, it’s anticipated that over 700 million individuals would be dealing with diabetes. Therefore, it is imperative that we all take action right away to spread awareness and offer everyone with access to diabetes diagnosis, treatment, and prevention.

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