World Health Day 2016
To mark the anniversary of the World Health Organisation (WHO) on April 7 annually, the World Health Day was established to raise awareness in educating people on important global health issues. This year’s theme is the call for action to reduce exposure to risks associated with diabetes and improve access to quality of care for people affected by the disease globally.
According to WHO, “Diabetes is a chronic, progressive non-communicable disease (NCD) characterized by elevated levels of blood glucose (blood sugar)”. The 3 main types of the disease include;
- Type 1 – where the pancreas doesn't produce insulin.
- Type 2 – where the pancreas doesn't produce enough insulin or the body’s cells don’t react to insulin.
- Gestational diabetes – where blood glucose values are above normal but below those diagnostics of diabetes. This type occurs during pregnancy and carries long-term risk of type 2 diabetes for women and their offspring. If left untreated, it can increase the risk of neural tube defect during pregnancy and birth complications for both the mother and baby. Women living with the disease are advised to take a daily supplement of folic acid while planning to conceive and in the first 12 week of pregnancy.
Diabetes raises the risk of heart attack, stroke, blindness, kidney failure and lower limb amputation. However, the disease can be managed by some lifestyles changes of eating healthily, being physically active and avoiding excessive weight gain.
The World Health Organisation’s global report on diabetes calls for action by governments to ensure their citizens make healthy choices as well as the provision of access to healthcare to tackle the disease.
WHO has also begun work to improve health through stimulating and supporting the adoption of effective measures for the surveillance, prevention and control of diabetes and its complications on a global scale.