By Milcah Tanimu
World Diabetes Day serves as a crucial platform to spotlight diabetes as a global public health concern and advocate for collective and individual actions to enhance prevention, diagnosis, and management of the condition. This day aims to increase awareness about the rising prevalence of diabetes, its impact, and educate people on preventive measures.
Diabetes, a disorder in which the body struggles to process and use glucose derived from food, comes in three main types: Type 1 diabetes, Type 2 diabetes, and Gestational diabetes. As glucose is the primary energy source for the body, inefficient assimilation can disrupt daily activities, and unmanaged diabetes can lead to severe complications such as cardiovascular issues, nerve damage, kidney damage, foot problems, skin infections, erectile dysfunction, depression, and dental issues.
Globally, 1 in 10 adults has diabetes, with over 90% having Type 2 diabetes, and nearly half remain undiagnosed. Type 2 diabetes and its complications can often be delayed or prevented by adopting and maintaining healthy habits. Early detection and treatment are crucial to averting serious and potentially life-threatening complications.
This year’s World Diabetes Day theme is “Access to Diabetes Care,” highlighting the importance of ensuring that individuals have access to necessary information, medicines, and tools for self-care to manage diabetes effectively. Millions of people worldwide lack access to proper diabetes care, and the campaign urges action in the following areas:
1. Making medicines, technologies, support, and care available to all individuals with diabetes who require them.
2. Governments increasing investment in diabetes care and prevention.
The 2023 campaign will specifically emphasize knowing one’s risk for Type 2 diabetes to facilitate early intervention and prevention. It will also underscore the impact of diabetes-related complications and stress the significance of access to accurate information and care for timely treatment and management. The call is for swift and comprehensive measures to bridge the gap in access to diabetes care worldwide.