Did you know that diabetes is one of the leading causes of death in the world? Over 1.6 million people lose their lives each year, due to diabetes attributed deaths. Diabetes is therefore, a major health issue that should be a concern to every single person because no one is exempted from the list of those whom it can affect.
About World Diabetes Day
The world diabetes day was started in 1991 due to the escalating health threat posed by the disease globally. It is held on every 14th of November to:
Promote advocacy efforts against diabetes throughout the year, and
Promote the importance of taking coordinated and concerted actions to confront diabetes as a critical global health issue.
The world diabetes day is simply a platform through which millions of people worldwide are engaged in diabetes advocacy and awareness.
Every year, world diabetes day focuses on a specific theme and the 2018-2019 theme is Family and Diabetes.
Why “The Family and Diabetes?”
This two-year theme for the world diabetes day aims to:
Raise awareness of the impact that diabetes has on the family and act as a support network for those affected, and
Promote the role of the family in the education, prevention, management and care of diabetes.
This theme will focus on these major aspects of diabetes type 2;
Access to affordable diabetes care and medication, and
Early diagnosis of diabetes type 2 is vital in helping to prevent the complications that may arise due to the disease. More than 200 million people living with diabetes type 2 have no idea that they have diabetes. It is therefore, important for families to be aware of the signs, symptoms and risk factors of this form of diabetes because that will help in its early detection.
Over 400 million people are currently living with diabetes worldwide. Most of those living with diabetes have type 2 diabetes which is the most common type of diabetes. Type two diabetes, despite being the most common form of the disease, is also largely preventable through:
Maintaining a healthy balanced diet,
Maintaining a healthy body weight, and
Regular physical activity.
Families must be provided with education, resources and the right environments to live a healthy lifestyle because they have a role to play in addressing the risk factors of type 2 diabetes which can be altered.
Access to affordable Diabetes Medication and Care
Diabetes affects families financially as well because daily insulin injections and monitoring can consume half of a family’s average disposable income.
Accessibility to regular and affordable diabetes medication is difficult for many diabetes patients another factor that makes diabetes expensive for individuals and families especially in middle and low-income countries.
To reduce this financial burden on individuals and families, access to affordable diabetes medication and care must be put in place. This will also reduce the negative impact on health outcomes globally.
The importance of diabetes education cannot be emphasised enough. Less than 1 in 4 family members have access to education programmes on diabetes. Why is it important to educate more individuals and families about diabetes?
Well, it has been shown that family support in diabetes care has a considerable effect in improving the health outcomes of people living with diabetes.
It is therefore important to make diabetes education on self-management and support accessible to all those living with diabetes and their families in order to reduce the emotional impact the disease poses which can in turn lead to a negative quality of life.
By creating awareness on diabetes – focusing on the above factors, diabetes type 2 cases will be reduced and the number of deaths that are caused by complications brought about by the disease will decrease as well.
Families will also be in a better position to deal with the disease and support their members who are living with diabetes.
Join the world largest diabetes campaign by getting educated about disease and passing the knowledge on to others, and more importantly, taking care of yourself by reducing the risk factors of type 2 diabetes through maintaining a healthy weight and diet as well as ensuring that you keep your body active.
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