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World health body urges intensified action to reduce diabetes


Lagos  –  The World Health Organisation (WHO) has called for greater action to turn the growing tide of the global diabetes disease.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that WHO made the call on the 2015 World Diabetes Day marked November 14 annually to create awareness on diabetes.

The theme of World Diabetes Day from 2014 to 2016 is ` Healthy Living and Diabetes.’

The WHO described diabetes as, “ a chronic disease that occurred when the body did not produce enough insulin.

“It can also occur when the body cannot effectively use the insulin it produces to help the body metabolise the sugar that is formed from the food eaten.

“Insulin is a hormone that regulates blood sugar, which gives us the energy we need to live.

“When it is unable to get into the cells to be burned as energy, the sugar could build up to harmful levels in the blood.’’

According to the WHO, close to 350 million people in the world have diabetes.

“ It is of great importance to learn how to minimise one’s risk of getting diabetes and to know how to detect and treat it as the prevalence increases.

“Multiple actions can be done to reduce the impact of diabetes, through adopting healthy lifestyles, such as partaking in physical activity and healthy diets.

“Others actions would also include governments’ action on curbing the marketing of unhealthy foods and ensuring that health systems provide the required services and care for people living with the disease.

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“There is also need to increase awareness about the rise in diabetes, and its staggering burden and consequences, in particular in low-and middle-income countries,’’ WHO said.

NAN reports that the world took a major step recently to address the diabetes epidemic by setting a target to reduce by one-third deaths attributed to non-communicable diseases (NCDs), including diabetes, by 2030.

This is part of the Sustainable Development Goals.

WHO projects that diabetes will be the 7th leading cause of death by 2030.

There are two main forms of the diabetes, types 1 and 2; people with type 1diabetes typically make none of their own insulin and therefore, require insulin injections for survival.

People with type 2 diabetes, the form that comprises some 90 per cent of all cases usually produced their own insulin, but not enough or they are unable to use it properly.

People with type 2 diabetes are typically overweight and sedentary.

The effects of diabetes included deterioration of body organs due to high blood sugars and this could cause heart attacks, strokes, kidney failure, blindness, impotence and infections that could lead to amputations.

With early detection and proper treatment, the impact of diabetes could be minimised. (NAN)

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