Developing countries

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Argentina's crisis triggers health emergency - The diabetes community's response

Diabetes affects an estimated 3.3% of the adult population in Argentina. For many of these people, insulin is a life-sustaining drug. Without uninterrupted access to insulin, people dependent on this drug for survival face the real possibility of death, some within days. The collapse of the reimbursement system and speculation have caused grave interruptions in the supply of medicines such as insulin and now an emergency response is expected from the Argentinean authorities.

Magazines in Africa

A publication that can help inform people with diabetes about their condition and keep them motivated to look after themselves would seem to be a valuable and cost-effective if not essential part of self-management. But in most parts of the poorly resourced continent of Africa, a magazine for people with diabetes is a luxury. Publishing is expensive and requires a supportive economy and a literate population with a common language.

Comprehensive care in a low-income country: the Ghana experience

In the 1950s and 1960s diabetes prevalence in Ghana was estimated at between 0.2% and 0.4% in adults. However, a recent analysis of admissions to the largest hospital in the country reveals that diabetes accounts for 6.8% of all adult admissions. Despite the fact that diabetes is clearly a major health problem in Ghana, the country has no separate diabetes healthcare policy. To address these issues, a three-year national programme, the Ghana Diabetes Programme, was initiated in 1995.

Poverty, stress and unmet needs: life with diabetes in the Gaza Strip

The political and social situation in the Gaza Strip remains tense, with considerable disruption of normal economic and social activity. Such an environment is rarely conducive to the delivery of continuing medical care. In this article Panagiotis Tsapogas, Medical Co-ordinator of the Greek section of Médecins Sans Frontières (Doctors Without Borders) in Gaza, 2002-2003, reports on the difficulties faced by Palestinian people with diabetes in Gaza, and makes a call for the provision of improved diabetes care.

Rural women: the Bangladesh perspective

Diabetes poses a serious threat to developing countries like Bangladesh. Despite advances in diabetes treatment, management and self-care, women with diabetes in rural Bangladesh are rarely able to enjoy the fruits of this progress.

Women with diabetes: facing double discrimination?

Being a woman and having diabetes can mean double discrimination for women all over the world. Even more so in many developing countries, where women, whether they have diabetes or not, still have to fight harder than ever to achieve equal rights and equal opportunities. This article, however, will not offer a helpless victim's point of view.

Fetal origins of diabetes in developing countries

There is a rapidly rising epidemic of Type 2 diabetes throughout the world. It is particularly severe in developing countries. In 1995, 62% of people with diabetes in the world lived in developing countries. By 2025 this is predicted to rise to more than 75%. In India there are an estimated 25 million people with diabetes, and this will rise to more than 60 million by 2025. One in five people with diabetes in the world will then be Indian. A parallel rise in ischaemic heart disease (IHD) is also projected. Other developing countries will be similarly affected.

Lighting up diabetes in the Asian young: the ASDIAB study

Diabetes is increasing in epidemic proportions worldwide. The number of people with diabetes is currently estimated to amount to nearly 180 million in the over 140 IDF member countries. While a relatively large number of studies have so far been carried out into the causes and development of diabetes mellitus in the Caucasian populations, up until recently, data on the aetiology and pathogenesis of the condition in the Asian population was still relatively scarce. The Asian Young Diabetes (ASDIAB) Study, the most significant results of which are revealed below, was intended to fill this gap.

Poverty versus genes: the social context of Type 2 diabetes

Together with its 'twin sister', childhood obesity, Type 2 diabetes is spreading among young people around the world. This constitutes a serious public health problem; by their 30s, generations of young people will have been living with Type 2

IDF and WHO initiatives to put diabetes on the health agenda in Africa

Although the exact magnitude of the problem in Africa is not well understood, diabetes is a serious threat to public health throughout the continent. In 2003, the International Diabetes Federation (IDF) predicted that by 2010, diabetes prevalence in Africa would increase by around 95%. Ignoring diabetes could lead to the breakdown of the fragile health systems in Africa, which are already overwhelmed by communicable diseases such as tuberculosis, malaria, and HIV/AIDS.

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