That Diabetes is a current global epidemic is no longer news. Ban ki Moon, the UN Secretary General sum it all with his statement “Diabetes and other NCDs are global epidemic of public health concern in slow motion”, I beg to differ from his position, am of the view that it is already in quick motion.
The current WHO,IDF, ADA abridged statistics shows that over 285 million persons are living with diabetes and a quarter of this figure are unknown. Where has the World been, when this figure got to this, and as am writing this piece, many more are being diagnosed.
This premises announce the global expectation of the summit of the UN. Following Resolution 61/225 adopted in December, 2006, diabetes has eventually gotten the World attention.
This summit is a first step in ensuring World leaders make the prevention and treatment of NCDs are urgent priority both globally and nationally.
Recently in South Africa there was a leadership summit organized to fine tune framework and position statement toward this much awaited summit, an alliance of all sectors of society will be needed to turn around this global epidemic. It is of prime importance and crucial that we keep up to date and informed in the lead up to the summit.
The UN Summit on NCDs is our biggest and best opportunity to get the action needed to achieve the IDF vision of a World without Diabetes.
It is hoped that a global fund to assist the numerous challenges posed by Diabetes is set up and I want to appeal to member nations of the UN to contribute generously towards this cause.
Some immediate challenges faced by Diabetes around the globe revolves around the following though more prevalent in sub-Saharan Africa and other developing economies
- There is a poorly developed healthcare infrastructure to support chronic and acute treatment.
- Lack of coordinated healthcare policy that would ensure screening, treatment and prevention are accorded priority.
- A lack or inadequate knowledge by healthcare providers on how to treat or manage the disease.
- Ignorance on the part of the general population about diabetes prevention strategies.
The much expected, awaited and belated UN summit on Diabetes and other non communicable diseases scheduled for 2011, expectations are high, it can be achieved and surpassed if we work as a team and family.