In recent years, the global health community has increasingly focused on the burden that Non-communicable diseases inflict on low and middle income countries. As countries become wealthier, the proportion of people who suffer from diseases like AIDS or Malaria tends to decrease while health problems associated with things like tobacco use or overweight tends to increase.
Today is World Diabetes Day, which is a good time to remind people of the increasing toll that non-communicable diseases — particularly diabetes — is taking on countries that generally do not have the health systems that can effectively control diabetes in the same way we in the wealthier countries can.
So, here are some facts about diabetes from the World Health Organization:
-347 million people around the world have diabetes.
-More than 80% of people with diabetes live in low and middle income countries
- The WHO projects that diabetes deaths will double between 2005 and 2030.
The best way to prevent diabetes is through education programs aimed at modifying people’s behaviors; getting people to eat right and exercise more. That is obviously monumentally difficult, but given the strain that diabetes is placing on fragile health systems, it’s a critically important task.