The WHO states that 80% of type 2 diabetes can be prevented by simple cost effective interventions. Major policy changes are needed to sustain healthy weight and physical activity levels. These could be exemplified in terms of well designed towns and cities with efficient public transport and food systems that encourage healthy eating. This can reduce risk factors for diabetes and other NCDs. The Global Diabetes Plan places strong emphasis on interventions to transform the social, economic and physical environments that are driving the increasing obesity and type 2 Diabetes.
The key modifiable risk factors for type 2 Diabetes are physical inactivity, inappropriate nutrition and obesity. Numerous people face almost insurmountable environmental, social and financial barriers to healthy lifestyle choices on a daily basis.
One of the key areas of need is routine screening programs. It can be observed that most persons living with diabetes get to know, following a public medical screening program. Most persons in Africa will hardly work into the hospital for a medical check-up, especially when there is nothing wrong physically. This tends to hide a chronic disorder like diabetes until it gets to a critical stage. With the knowledge of Impaired Glucose Tolerance (IGT), Persons identified at this stage could be assisted. A stitch in time saves nine.
The picture above is a Diabetes awareness campaign in a motor park in Abuja, Federal capital of Nigeria. Drivers and passengers are being educated on what it means to eat healthy and live healthy life style to prevent non-communicable disease like Diabetes. Many persons were discovered to be living with Diabetes for the first time without their knowledge. Thank God for this screening program and special thanks to members of Diabetes Association of Nigeria, Abuja Chapter for this project to mark World Diaabetes Day 2011, that was yet to be celebrated before now.