Diabetes in Society

English

The global chronic disease burden: what is being done?

The World Health Organization (WHO) estimates that in 2005, HIV/AIDS, TB and malaria combined were responsible for around 4 million deaths. In the same year, chronic non-communicable diseases killed nearly 30 million people. Shocking as they are, these figures do not tell the full story of the disability, suffering and personal hardship that results from diabetes complications; or, on a larger economic scale, the enormous healthcare costs and lost productivity attributable to diabetes.

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.

The economics of chronic disease: the case for government intervention

Much is heard of late about the high costs of chronic diseases like diabetes: chronic diseases are going to ‘break the bank’, impose tremendous costs on already struggling healthcare systems, and, very possibly, hinder growth in developing countries. Often, however, the suffering of people with chronic diseases seems to be lost in all the talk of money.

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.

Closing the information gap: the HINARI, AGORA and OARE programmes

The lack of access to scientific and medical literature has historically been a major challenge in developing countries. In a world that is increasingly digital, effective opportunities now exist for connecting healthcare providers, researchers and policy-makers with online research and clinical information. The authors report on HINARI, AGORA and OARE programmes built on partnerships between publishers and UN organizations which provide researchers from developing countries with access to the world’s latest scientific literature.

Changing lifestyles and the epidemic of obesity among children in Pakistan

Over recent decades, there has been a worldwide increase in the number of people with obesity – currently around 300 million according to the International Obesity Task Force – and there are no signs of a slow-down. Furthermore, rates of overweight and obesity in adults and children are rising dramatically in developing countries. A large and growing body of evidence points to the transformation of lifestyles worldwide – over-consumption of energy-dense food and decreased physical activity – as the driving force behind this pandemic.

Shared leadership: improving diabetes services through better clinical team working

The development of leaders in healthcare is recognized as being integral to improving the quality of care. However, where most leadership development focuses on an individual, a recent intervention in the UK operated on the theory that improvements are more likely to last if all team members are involved in developing leadership skills and understanding. In this article, Jan Walmsley and Andy Brown report on ‘Shared Leadership for Change’, which aimed to improve team effectiveness in six diabetes clinical networks.

For children, for change - the Diabetes Youth Charter

Diabetes is a constant and daily challenge for children and adolescents, their parents and carers. Henk-Jan Aanstoot, a paediatric diabetologist, affirms that he is inspired and motivated to see many families dealing well with their condition. Very young children, teenagers and young adults all share the ability to teach him something important every day – about patience, commitment and an unbelievable desire to overcome adversity and to triumph. But there are serious shortcomings in the care afforded to these young people in developed as well as developing countries.

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.

Diabetes care in Nicaragua: results of the RAPIA study

Nicaragua, located in Central America, is the second poorest country in the western hemisphere. Around half of its population of 5 million people lives on less than 1 USD per day. Nicaragua is facing a growing burden of non-communicable diseases. In 2000, the Ministry of Health reported that the leading causes of death were heart attack, stroke, perinatal death (foetal and new-born) and diabetes. In 2002, deaths due to chronic diseases represented 37% of the total; deaths due to communicable diseases fell from 14.5% in 1985 to less than 5% in 2002.

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