It is estimated that 422 million adults lived with diabetes worldwide in 2014, compared to 108 million in 1980. The global prevalence of diabetes has almost doubled since 1980, rising from 4.7% to 8.5% in the adult population. This reflects an increase in associated risk factors such as being overweight or obese. Over the past decade, the incidence of diabetes has risen faster in low- and middle-income countries than in high-income countries.
Diabetes is a major cause of blindness, kidney failure, heart attack, stroke and amputation of the lower limbs. Healthy diet, physical activity and avoiding tobacco use can prevent or delay type 2 diabetes. In addition, diabetes can be treated and its effects avoided or delayed with medication, regular checkups and treatment for complications.
In 2007, the General Assembly adopted Resolution 61/225, which designated November 14 as World Diabetes Day. The document recognized that ‘the urgent need is to pursue multilateral efforts to promote and improve human health, and to provide access to treatment and health education.’
The resolution also encouraged Member States to develop national policies for the prevention, treatment and treatment of diabetes in line with the sustainable development of their healthcare systems.
Nurses make the difference
The theme for World Diabetes Day 2020 is ‘The Nurse and Diabetes’. The campaign aims to raise awareness about the important role that nurses play in supporting people with diabetes.
Nurses currently make up more than half of the global health workers. They do an excellent job of supporting people with a wide range of health problems. People living with diabetes or at risk of developing the condition also need their support.
People with diabetes suffer from a number of challenges and education is essential to equip nurses with the skills to support them.
Diabetes is a chronic disease that occurs when the pancreas does not produce enough insulin, or when the body cannot use the insulin it produces effectively. This leads to an increased concentration of glucose in the blood (hyperglycemia).
Type 1 diabetes (formerly known as insulin-dependent or diabetes in children) is characterized by a lack of insulin production.
Type 2 diabetes (formerly non-insulin dependent or adult diabetes) is caused by the ineffective use of insulin by the body. This is often the result of excessive body weight and physical inactivity.
Gestational diabetes is hyperglycemia that is first recognized during pregnancy.