The United Nations in December, 2006 came up with Resolution 61/225 which resulted in officially and globally recognizing the need for concern towards Diabetes Awareness, improved care and search for possible cure. November, 14th was recognized as World Diabetes Day. The International Diabetes Federation has been a champion of this campaign since 1991.
Some developed Countries have realized the danger posed by non communicable disease like Diabetes among others. However, the challenge is still much considering the attitude and approach many developing Countries especially those in Subsaharan Africa have towards Diabetes mellitus. Many of these Countries do not have a National Clinical Guideline for Management of Diabetes hence the order of the day is no standardization of practice. The gross effect is poor glycemic control, increase prevalence of avoidable or preventable complications, spread of wrong or harmful methodologies of care.
Government in developing countries struggle to deal with many pressing health and social issues. Diabetes Care is expensive, and funding must compete with programme such as those striving to control infectious diseases – which can often save more lives on a cheaper per- capital basis.
Government provision of Insulin and other accessories at lower cost contribute not only to the well being of a portion of her population but also prevent expensive disabling and life threatening complications.
Some of the reasons for disparity in the standard of care in sub-Saharan Africa in contrast to developed Countries includes:
1. Government of majority of the developing Countries do not regard diabetes as a priority and therefore allocate little or nothing at all in terms of resources for diabetes care.
2. In many of these Countries all outpatient costs including medications and monitoring equipments are the responsibility of individual persons living with diabetes or their families.
3. The media is yet to recognize the socio-economic burden of Diabetes and other non communicable disease like cancer. This is a challenge that the media should champion and not political issues alone as Diabetes is presently causing more amputation than landmines. All media organizations need to create awareness about this public health concern from time to time because majority of the people living with type 2 Diabetes could have been prevented if appropriately cure of their ignorance by education on lifestyle modification.
As the situation is, the problem seem to be increasing, no body accepting full responsibility but those who are directly or indirectly affected by Diabetes feels the brunch each second, minute, hour , days and years. Let us arise from our comfort zones and speak out towards Diabetes awareness, Diabetes aid for less privilege ones especially widows and orphans. The Government on its part should wake up to its responsibility, one wonders, a careful observation will show that majority of persons in places of authority that can influence appropriate policy towards these cause seem not to show interest or concern.
Come November 14th 2010, I want to challenge all to speak to someone about Diabetes mellitus, learn more about Diabetes and be physically active.