Diabetes in Society

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Tackling NCDs: a catalyst to strengthen country health systems – an interview with Badara Samb

In an exclusive interview with Diabetes Voice, Badara Samb, the World Health Organization’s Coordinator for Health Systems Strengthening, tells us why NCD programmes have remained at the bottom of the agenda for global health development and outlines the factors that limit countries' capacity to implement proven strategies for chronic diseases. Professor Samb is an experienced epidemiologist and public health physician, who started working with UNICEF early in his career, and later undertook research at INSERM and work with the UN on AIDS.

The Middle East and North Africa Diabetes Leadership Forum

In December 2010, key stakeholders, leaders and highprofile speakers gathered in Dubai to discuss the overwhelming human and financial burden imposed on the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region by diabetes. The MENA Diabetes Leadership Forum, sponsored by Novo Nordisk and supported by IDF, was a high-level advocacy meeting aimed at confronting the diabetes epidemic in the region and exploring and sharing ways to tackle the issue at the highest level. The Forum was the fifth in a series of such meetings, with previous events in the USA, Russia, China and South Africa.

Gestational diabetes: an invisible maternal health issue

Gestational diabetes, defined as ‘any degree of glucose intolerance with onset or first recognition during pregnancy’ has increased over the last 20 years, reflecting the increasing frequency of type 2 diabetes in the underlying population. Despite being associated with several pregnancy complications, and increasing the risk of both mother and child developing type 2 diabetes later in life, gestational diabetes remains a neglected maternal health issue.

Spotlight on an IDF Member: the Dutch Diabetes Association

Like many of its fellows, the Dutch Diabetes Association (DDA) is faced with a growing number of people with diabetes — currently nearly 1 million out of a total population of 16 million people. About 58,000 of these people with diabetes are members of the DDA . In order to support members’ diabetes management, and attract new members, the DDA has developed several Internet-based applications to reach out directly to increasing numbers of people.

Preventing diabetes in the avenues and alleyways – homes and cities as exercise machines

The global obesity epidemic is already staggering – and it keeps on growing. In Canada, for example, one person in five is overweight and nearly one in 10 is obese – a two-and-a-half-fold increase over the past two decades. Moreover, obesity rates among children in Canada have almost tripled in the past 30 years. Our societies are transforming previously healthy children into generations of adults who in future decades will suffer widespread chronic ill-health and overpopulate hospital wards. Efforts to curb the trend have been largely unsuccessful.

Green shoots of hope: obesity prevention in US schools

There is currently an epidemic of childhood obesity in the USA. Data from the National Health and Nutrition Evaluation Surveys from 1963-65 until the present, show that obesity has increased three- to fourfold, so that now 16% of American children are obese (as assessed by body mass index (BMI) greater than the 95th percentile for age and gender) and a third are above the mark to be considered overweight (greater than the 85th percentile). This has fuelled an epidemic of type 2 diabetes in young people.

Improving Europe's response to diabetes: the Country Assessment of Diabetes Institutions and Services

The International Diabetes Federation European Region (IDF Europe) represents 62 member organizations, which operate in 45 countries, each with a different culture, healthcare system, economic level and political commitment to support diabetes. Developing common positions and supporting certain policy changes at the European level requires thorough knowledge and understanding of each member’s particular circumstances.

Focus on the frontline - the Chinese Diabetes Society

China is at the epicentre of the global diabetes epidemic. Our diabetes population is now the world’s largest: more than 92 million people. Diabetes prevalence in this country, at 9.7%, is among the highest – far higher than the world average of 6.4%. Even more worryingly, nearly 150 million people in China are at high risk for developing type 2 diabetes.

Type 2 diabetes, the challenge of prevention and the WHO Commission on Social Determinants of Health

There are huge disparities in the risk of death and disease across the world, with life expectancy at birth ranging from greater than 80 years in Japan and Sweden, to less than 50 years in many African countries. Disparities also exist within countries and, irrespective of a country’s overall wealth, overall risk of disease and death tend to be strongly related to socioeconomic position, with the worse health in the less well off.

The good, the bad and the ugly - treatment of diabetes in the cinema

Diabetes has a leading role in the current global epidemic of non-communicable diseases. But it has a rather ambiguous relationship with the ‘seventh art’. On the one hand, diabetes has made a number of high-profile appearances in blockbuster movies – which has helped to raise its profile among the general public. On the other, it remains underrepresented – only around a dozen films have dealt with the condition in the past 25 years – and is often distorted by the time it reaches the screen.

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