In celebration of World Diabetes Day November 14, the WHO announces new focus on prevention and treatment of the condition.
The World Health Organization (WHO) has announced that diabetes will be the main focus of its annual World Health Day, being held on April 7, 2016.
In a release, the organization said the celebration will provide a platform for the promotion of diabetes prevention efforts, and will raise awareness of programs to ensure optimal management of the condition for those who suffer from any of the several types of the disease.
Highlighting actions that individuals can take to help control their condition, along with calls to government actions to regulate the marketing of unhealthy foods, the organization will be promoting the day to increase efforts to ensure health systems across the globe are providing the required services for those stricken with diabetes.
Nearly 350 million people worldwide have some form of diabetes, a chronic disease that happens when the body cannot efficiently use its insulin, a hormone that regulates blood sugar, to assist the body in metabolizing the sugar from the foods we ingest.
Projecting that diabetes will become the 7th leading cause of death by the year 2030, the organization said some 1.5 million people died from the disease or complications from the disease in 2012, and that 80 percent of those deaths happened to low-and middle-income countries.
The two main forms of the disease, type 1 and type 2, typically occur in persons who are overweight and do not engage in regular physical activity. Those sufferers with type 1 produce no insulin at all in their bodies and must rely on injections of insulin to survive.
Type 2 sufferers make up about 90 percent of the total number of cases, and they are identified as persons who cannot produce enough insulin or those whose bodies are unable to properly use the amount of insulin they produce.
Diabetes can cause major trauma to the body if left untreated, including heart attacks, strokes, kidney disease, blindness, impotence and infections that frequently lead to amputations of the limbs.
The good news is those who suffer from either type of the disease can lead relatively normal lives, if they follow the recommended medical treatments and keep their blood sugar levels under control.
By raising the awareness of diabetes, the WHO is hoping to spread the word to under-developed countries and provide guidance and assistance to those individuals who are not currently receiving proper medical care.