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Diabetes cases could double in developing countries in next 30 years

The number of cases of diabetes in developing countries is likely to increase more than two-fold in the next 30 years, from 115 million in 2000 to 284 //million in 2030. WHO has marked World Diabetes Day, 14 November, 2003, with a commitment to increase its efforts to reduce the impact of diabetes and its complications, particularly among low- and middle-income communities, in collaboration with the International Diabetes Federation (IDF).

“Diabetes is part of the growing epidemic of noncommunicable diseases (NCDs) that are beginning to impose a double burden of disease on the world’s poorest countries,” said Dr Catherine Le Galès-Camus, WHO Assistant Director-General, Noncommunicable Diseases and Mental Health. “Even as these countries are struggling to address the problems of HIV/AIDS, malaria and tuberculosis, they must also prepare to deal with the onslaught of diseases that come with changes in lifestyle and ageing of their populations.”

The good news, said Dr Le Galès-Camus, is that much of the projected increase in diabetes is preventable, through attention to diet and physical activity in the population. WHO is currently developing a Global Strategy on Diet and Physical Activity, which will underpin its efforts to help Member States prevent diabetes and other diseases related to unhealthy diets and physical inactivity.

For those who have diabetes, good management of the disease can delay or even prevent complications and disability.

Promoting self management by patients, proactive control of risk factors by health professionals and reorganization of health services to manage chronic conditions have all been shown to make a significant difference to patients”, said Dr Rafael Bengoa, WHO, Director, Management of Noncommunicable Diseases. “We will be working with countries to find ways to deliver a minimum package of care in even the poorest settings. Prevention and management go hand in hand. We need to provide compre
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