World Health Day 2016 – ‘Beat diabetes’

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The theme of World Health Day 2016 is 'beat diabetes', the goal being to increase awareness about the rise of diabetes and to trigger a set of effective and affordable actions to tackle the disease.

By Allianz Worldwide Care | April 7, 2016

Allianz Care - diabetes

Every year, the World Health Organisation (WHO) selects an area of global public health concern as the theme for World Health Day, which falls annually on April 7th.

For World Health Day 2016 the WHO has focused on diabetes. The burden of diabetes impacts millions of people globally and is increasing, particularly in developing countries.

Diabetes is a chronic disease that occurs either when the pancreas does not produce enough insulin or when the body cannot effectively use the insulin it produces.

There are 2 main forms of the diabetes. People with type 1 diabetes typically make none of their own insulin and therefore require insulin injections to survive. People with type 2 diabetes, the form that comprises some 90% of cases, usually produce their own insulin, but not enough or they are unable to use it properly.

Increase in diabetes globally

By 2030 the WHO projects that diabetes will be the 7th leading cause of death globally. Although there is good evidence that a large proportion of cases of diabetes and its complications can be prevented by a healthy diet, regular physical activity, maintaining a normal body weight and avoiding tobacco, this evidence is not widely implemented.

World Health Day 2016: Key messages

WHO is focusing 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.

Source: World Health Organisation

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