World Health Day 2016 : Beat diabetes: Scale up prevention, strengthen care, and enhance surveillance
Every year, the World Health Organization selects a priority area of global public health concern as the theme for World Health Day, which falls on 7 April, the birthday of the Organization.
The theme for World Health Day 2016 will be diabetes, a noncommunicable disease (NCD) directly impacting millions of people of globally, mostly in low- and middle-income countries.
Diabetes is a chronic, metabolic disease characterized by elevated levels of blood glucose which may over time lead to serious damage to the heart, blood vessels, eyes, kidneys, and nerves. The prevalence of diabetes has been steadily increasing in the past few decades, in particular in low- and middle-income countries. Knowledge exists to reverse this trend through targeted prevention and appropriate care.
World Health Day 2016 objectives
WHO is working with Member States and civil society partners to:
- Increase awareness about the rise in diabetes, and its staggering burden and consequences, in particular in low-income and middle-income countries.
- Trigger a set of specific, effective and affordable actions to tackle diabetes. These will include steps to prevent diabetes and diagnose, treat and care for people with diabetes.
- Launch the first WHO Global report on diabetes, which will describe the burden and consequences of diabetes and advocate for stronger health systems to ensure improved surveillance, enhanced prevention and more effective management of diabetes.
Diabetes is a chronic disease, which occurs when the pancreas does not produce enough insulin, or when the body cannot effectively use the insulin it produces. This leads to an increased concentration of glucose in the blood (hyperglycaemia).
Type 1 diabetes (previously known as insulin-dependent or childhood-onset diabetes) is characterized by a lack of insulin production.
Type 2 diabetes (formerly called non-insulin-dependent or adult-onset diabetes) is caused by the body’s ineffective use of insulin. It often results from excess body weight and physical inactivity.Gestational diabetes is hyperglycaemia that is first recognized during pregnancy.
Sign and Symptoms
Individuals can experience different signs and symptoms of diabetes, and sometimes there may be no signs. Some of the signs commonly experienced include:
- Frequent urination
- Excessive thirst
- Increased hunger
- Weight loss
- Lack of interest and concentration
- A tingling sensation or numbness in the hands or feet
- Blurred vision
- Frequent infections
- Slow-healing wounds
- Vomiting and stomach pain (often mistaken as the flu)
- The development of type 1 diabetes is usually sudden and dramatic while the symptoms can often be mild or absent in people with type 2 diabetes, making this type of diabetes hard to detect.
- Family history of diabetes
- Unhealthy diet
- Physical inactivity
- Increasing age
- High blood pressure
- Impaired glucose tolerance (IGT)*
- History of gestational diabetes
- Poor nutrition during pregnancy
- 347 million people worldwide have diabetes.
- In 2012, an estimated 1.5 million deaths were directly caused by diabetes .
- More than 80% of diabetes deaths occur in low- and middle-income countries.
- WHO projects that diabetes will be the 7th leading cause of death in 2030.
- Healthy diet, regular physical activity, maintaining a normal body weight and avoiding tobacco use can prevent or delay the onset of type 2 diabetes.
- 382 million people have diabetes in the world and more than 72.1 million people in the SEA Region; by 2035 this will rise to 123 million.
- There were 674,120 cases of diabetes in Nepal in 2013.