Health organizations

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Developing a global framework to address non-communicable diseases

Heart disease, stroke, diabetes and cancer are now among the leading causes of death and disability around the world. The causes of these diseases include modifiable lifestyle-related risk factors, such as smoking, poor diet, lack of physical activity, as well as non-modifiable risk factors, including age and genetics. Due to population growth and the relative success of efforts to reduce communicable diseases, the number of people with non-communicable diseases will continue to rise in the future.

Chronic diseases: a growing problem in developing countries

Chronic diseases are increasing in global prevalence and seriously threaten developing nations’ ability to improve the health of their populations. Indeed, chronic disease has become the dominant health burden in many developing countries. It is estimated that in 2005, chronic diseases were responsible for 50% of deaths and illness in 23 selected developing countries. Surveys from countries in all corners of the world reveal significant health and economic consequences from chronic diseases, with the greatest impact likely to occur in the poor countries that are least able to respond.

The CARMEN initiative - Latin America's response to the chronic disease burden

In most countries in the Americas, chronic diseases are now the leading cause of premature death and disability. Responsible for two of every three deaths among the general population, chronic diseases caused almost half of the mortality in people under 70 years old in 2002. The significant socio-economic inequities in Latin America compound the burden of chronic disease (including early death) among poorer people, locking many into a cycle of deprivation and ill-health.

Pakistan's action plan on chronic diseases - public-private partnership in action

About a decade and a half ago, public health priorities in low- and middle-income countries were centred on infectious diseases and maternal and child health issues. Subsequently, however, data published in leading medical journals and reports by multilateral agencies has shown that more than 50% of the burden of disease in developing countries is attributable to chronic diseases – including heart disease, diabetes, cancers and some chronic lung conditions.

The diabetes strategy for the WHO African Region: a call to action

The World Health Organization (WHO) Regional Office for Africa, concerned about the escalating incidence of diabetes in the African Region, presented a regional strategy for diabetes to be adopted by health ministers during the 57th session of the WHO Regional Committee for Africa, held in August 2007 in Brazzaville, Republic of Congo. The strategy examined the situation of type 2 diabetes in the African Region and proposed methods to prevent and control the disease.

The Steno Diabetes Center: from education to action

The Steno Diabetes Center was founded in 1932. It has since been a leading player in the struggle against diabetes through clinical care and development, and wide research activities. During the 1980s, the paternalistic model of care was shown to be inadequate to cover the demands of people with diabetes. The need for coaching, learning and education became clear. A team approach was gradually developed, involving nurses, dietitians and foot specialists, as well as physicians.

Certification: a means for future recognition

Since the National Certification Board for Diabetes Educators (the organization responsible for certification of diabetes educators in the USA) was established in 1986, the importance and prevalence of professional certification have increased dramatically. New certification programmes are increasingly being developed for more and more occupations and professional specialties, while existing certification organizations are expanding their certification offerings.

TIDES: meeting diabetes needs in times of crisis

It is estimated that over 3 million deaths each year are directly related to diabetes. Of greatest concern is that diabetes prevalence appears to be highest in the low- and middle-income countries. Managing diabetes, a complex task in ideal circumstances, can be made extremely difficult in emergency situations. Millions of people around the world live under constant threat from armed conflict or natural disasters, such as floods, hurricanes and earthquakes. The difficulties faced by poor and underserved people in accessing diabetes care are exacerbated in times of catastrophe.

New data, fresh perspectives: Diabetes Atlas, Third Edition

The third edition of the Diabetes Atlas was launched in December 2006, at the 19th World Diabetes Congress of the International Diabetes Federation (IDF) in Cape Town, South Africa. The aim of the Atlas, which has been described as the flagship publication of IDF, is to provide the most recent and accurate information on diabetes in 2007 and provide estimates of the likely impact of the condition up to 2025. Its purpose is to disseminate the most up-to-date and salient facts concerning the scope, impact and burden of diabetes globally and on a regional and country-by-country basis.

Old age, poverty and the chronic disease epidemic in Latin America and the Caribbean

The human population of our planet is aging. According to UN projections, by the middle of this century, the number of elderly people in the world will exceed the number of young people – for the first time in history. This trend started during the last half of the 20th century. Yet policy-makers are only now becoming aware of the gravity of the implications for developing countries of the rapid pace at which our populations are ageing.

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