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(2016; 88 pages)
The first WHO Global report on diabetes demonstrates that the number of adults living with diabetes has almost quadrupled since 1980 to 422 million adults. Factors driving this dramatic rise include overweight and obesity.
In 2012 alone diabetes caused 1.5 million deaths. Its complications can lead to heart attack, stroke, blindness, kidney failure and lower limb amputation.
The lack of access to affordable insulin remains a key impediment to successful treatment and results in needless complications and premature deaths. Insulin and oral hypoglycaemic agents are reported as generally available in only a minority of low-income countries. Moreover, essential medicines critical to gaining control of diabetes, such as agents to lower blood pressure and lipid levels, are frequently unavailable in low- and middle-income countries. Policy and programme interventions are needed to improve equitable access.
The new report calls upon governments to ensure that people are able to make healthy choices and that health systems are able to diagnose, treat and care for people with diabetes. It encourages us all as individuals to eat healthily, be physically active, and avoid excessive weight gain.