Dr Th Premchand Singh
World Diabetes Day was first observed in 1991 by International Diabetes Federation and the World Health Organization in response to growing concerns about the escalating health threat posed by diabetes. World Diabetes Day became an official United Nations Day in 2006 with the passage of United Nation Resolution 61/225. It is marked every year on 14 November, the birthday of Sir Frederick Banting, who co-discovered insulin along with Charles Best in 1922. World Diabetes Day is the world’s largest diabetes awareness campaign reaching a global audience of over 1 billion people in more than 160 countries. The campaign draws attention to issues of paramount importance to the diabetes in the world and keeps diabetes firmly in the public and political spotlight.
The theme for World Diabetes Day 2021-23 is “Access to Diabetes Care”. The campaign focuses on the importance of understanding the risks of diabetes in the world specially among the under- developed and developing countries, on how to delay or prevent diabetes. It highlights the impact of diabetes-related complications and the importance of having access to the right information and care to ensure timely treatment and management of the complications.
Diabetes is on the rise. Diabetes is no longer a disease of predominantly rich Nations rather the prevalence of diabetes is increasing markedly in the underdeveloped and developing countries like Africa, Southeast Asian Countries. And diabetes is a major cause of blindness, kidney failure, heart attack, stroke and lower limb amputation all over the world. According to International Diabetes Federation there are 537 million adults (1 in 10) with diabetes in 2021 in the world. This is expected rise to 643 million by 2030 and 783 million by 2045.In India the prevalenceis 11.4% (Indian Council of Medical Research – India Diabetes 2023) of the population or 101 million people.India has the highest population of diabetes next to China.
The theme of this year ‘Access to diabetes care’ is a very pertinent specially for the diabetic population in these underdeveloped and developing countries. The diabetes needs to be diagnosed early, its care may be institutedearly to prevent or delay development of complications. The campaign focuses on the importance of knowing risks of developing diabetes.The risk factors are older age more than 35 years, lack of physical activity / exercise and sedentary life style, obesity, family history of diabetes and past history of diabetes during pregnancy.The campaign highlights the importance of early diagnosis of diabetes and its impact of diabetes-related complications and the importance of having access to the right information and care to ensure timely treatment and management.
The campaign highlights the importance of early diagnosis and management. There is enough data to show that a balanced diet comprising carbohydrate, protein, fat with lots of green vegetables with minimum salt and no sugar /sweets combined with regular physical activity/ exer- cise can prevent the onset of diabetes.
The exercise does not mean going to the gym, but simply a brisk walk, jogging, cycling, swimming for at least half an hour for a minimum of five days a week. For people with diabetes, sticking to this simple routine along with the diabetes medicines willlead to a smooth diabetes control preventing from complications associated with diabetes.
The last word is, if one sticks to a balanced sugar free diet and go for regular physical activityone can avoid not only diabetes and its complications but also heart attacks and strokes. Knowing your risk and what to do is important to support prevention, early diagnosis and timely treatment.
The writer is past president, North Eastern Diabetes Society