Diabetes in Society


Fighting diabetes and obesity: what has been done so far?

The urgent need to tackle obesity and prevent type 2 diabetes is now widely acknowledged, particularly by the health ministers worldwide who in May 2004 gave their unanimous approval to the World Health Organization (WHO) Global Strategy on Diet, Physical Activity and Health. Many health ministries around the world have policies to cope with these most pressing public health issues. But their detailed strategies are often unclear. Indeed, almost everywhere, national programmes to address obesity and diabetes are still under development.

The impact of the 2006 World Diabetes Congress on South Africa

There is great significance in choosing an African venue to host the coming International Diabetes Federation (IDF) Congress: the problems encountered by people with diabetes in Africa closely reflect those experienced by people with the condition in much of the rest of the developing world. While people with diabetes in many developed countries – with free access to an increasing range of modern diabetes supplies and analogue human insulins – strive for excellence

Improving the quality of life of young people with diabetes in Egypt

In 2000, a group of committed members of the diabetes community in Egypt, including parents of children with the condition and health-care professionals, established ‘Assistance to Youngsters with Diabetes’ (AYD). This is an ambitious project. The ultimate objective of AYD – which recently won the DAWN International Award – is to enhance the quality of life of children with diabetes in

A protocol for the nutritional management of diabetes in the Caribbean

Over the last 10-15 years, various regional institutions in the Caribbean have developed protocols for the clinical management of diabetes. These have been used to improve the quality of care for people with the condition. However, the nutritional component of care was not adequately addressed in these recommendations and no standardized regional guidelines existed. Godfrey Xuereb reports on the development of a formal protocol for the nutritional management of diabetes and related conditions in the Caribbean region.

Gambling with addiction: dangerous beliefs about smoking and diabetes

Smoking among people with diabetes parallels that of the general population. However, compared to non-smokers with diabetes, people with diabetes who smoke have twice the risk of premature death. The risk of complications associated with tobacco use and diabetes in combination are nearly 14 times higher than the risk

The global health and economic impact of tobacco

Tobacco kills half of its regular users, exacts a considerable toll in terms of disease, disability and suffering, and has a profoundly negative impact on family incomes and national economies. In this article, Derek Yach emphasizes the size of these impacts globally and in particular in China.

A holistic approach to diabetes care in Bolivia

Bolivia is a land-locked country in central South America. Bordered by five nations, it is one of the so-called developing countries; levels of infant mortality and illiteracy are among the highest in the world. While Bolivia is rich in ethnic and cultural diversity and natural resources, including silver and natural gas, the development of the nation continues to be constrained by economic and societal problems which affect all levels of society. Furthermore, the areas of health and education have

Restoring diabetes care in Rwanda: the need for effective partnerships

In 1994, more than one million people died in Rwanda in one of the worst genocides in modern times. Rwandan society, at all levels including healthcare, continues to count the human and financial costs of the tragedy – a burden which is compounded by the debilitating scarcity of resources in the nation as a whole. Most of Rwanda’s 8 200 000 inhabitants are united by poverty: according to figures published by the World Bank, the yearly per capita income in Rwanda is 220 USD.

Global mortality attributable to diabetes: time for a realistic estimate

Measures of the public health importance of a health condition include the number of people affected and the number of deaths that are attributable to it. Globally, the number of people with diabetes is estimated to be just short of 200 million. However, diabetes is rarely perceived as a major contributor to mortality, largely because routine mortality statistics are based on death certificates where

How many millions have diabetes?

It is important to know or at least be able to estimate the number of people affected by diabetes. Having this knowledge enables us to track and predict the diabetes epidemic so that healthcare can at least attempt to keep pace with the growing numbers (in practice, unfortunately, it rarely can). To have authoritative estimates of the current magnitude of the problem and projections of the likely future burden is of vital importance in continued efforts to make the case for more