Diabetes in Society

English

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.

Against the odds: overcoming diabetes in Patagonia

When I met Sonia Carrasco, 14 years ago, she was suffering from diabetes ketoacidosis – extremely high glucose levels, a sign of poorly controlled diabetes. Although she had been living with the condition for about 6 years, her diabetes knowledge was minimal, reflecting a general lack of health awareness. When I asked Sonia to describe her feelings the day she was given a diagnosis of type 1 diabetes, 20 years before, she recalls an experience made all the more terrifying by an acute fear of the unknown. She had understood that she had leukaemia.

Waking up to diabetes in Papua New Guinea - Jacklyin's story

My daughter Jacklyin was born in January 1990, three months premature. Her early birth gave her unusual status among her family and the rest of the community in our village, Gumine – in the Province of Chimbu, in the highlands of Papua New Guinea. She would always be given our special protection and ate the best of all children in the village.

Lessons from Nigeria: the fight against counterfeit drugs in Africa

The sale of counterfeit products is a problem in most countries. Every year, about 7% of world trade, valued at about 280 billion USD, is lost due to counterfeiting. In the information technology sector, products worth an estimated 20 billion USD are currently in circulation. But the huge financial losses incurred by manufacturers and individual customers as a result of the trafficking of fake goods are overshadowed by the tragic human costs: the pharmaceutical industry, and consequently the marketplace, are flooded with counterfeits.

Focus on the front line: l'Association Malienne de Lutte contre le Diabète

Contrary to the now outdated idea of diabetes as a disease of rich people in rich countries, the condition is increasingly widespread in Africa. Mali, the second-largest country in West Africa, bordering the Sahara desert to the north and Côte d’Ivoire and Senegal to the south, has not escaped the budding epidemic of type 2 diabetes. Overall prevalence is thought to exceed 2% – nearly a quarter of a million people. Most of these have type 2 diabetes and live in the urban areas.

Focus on the front line: Diabetes South Africa

Diabetes is emerging as a serious public-health problem in South Africa, particularly in the urban areas, where social welfare and health systems are precarious, and there is a lack of access to appropriate health information. Diabetes South Africa (DSA), established in 1969, advocates for the rights of all people with diabetes in the country.

Promoting global action on the social determinants of health

Throughout the world, socially disadvantaged people with inadequate access to health resources suffer worse health status and die younger than people in more privileged social positions. Yet although the greatest share of health problems is attributable to living conditions, health policies are dominated by disease-focused solutions that largely ignore the social environment. As a result, inequalities have widened and health interventions have obtained less than optimal results.

Information bias: why it happens and how to avoid it

As patients, many of us assume that we are receiving the best possible treatment for any medical condition we may have – people with diabetes are no exception. However, with an increasing emphasis on empowerment and choice, many of us are no longer prepared to simply assume that the treatment we are offered is the best available. For others, doubts arise when a treatment seems ineffective or there are adverse effects. Is the prescribed treatment the most suitable? Are there alternative treatments that might be more successful? Both patients and physicians

The year of the disadvantaged and the vulnerable

The International Diabetes Federation is engaged in a global strategic plan to raise awareness of diabetes. One of the principal tools to help unite awareness-raising efforts worldwide is IDF’s World Diabetes Day campaign. Spread over 12 months, the campaign climaxes in the World Diabetes Day celebrations that take place on or around 14 November. World Diabetes Day offers a unique opportunity for the global diabetes community to celebrate the lives of people with diabetes and raise awareness of the condition among the general public and healthcare decision makers.

Overlooked and in jeopardy: indigenous people with diabetes

There are more than 375 million indigenous people in the world. The guardians of a rich knowledge of the natural world, intricate cultivation systems, animal husbandry, and the use of traditional medicines, they represent a treasure of cultural diversity, including more than half the world’s 5000 to 6000 languages. Indigenous people practice innumerable ways of living together with respect for fellow human beings and the environment. But it is estimated that within the next two decades, as indigenous communities continue to be decimated – in many cases driven

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