Global Report on Diabetes
Sunday, July 23rd, 2017
Diabetes is on the rise. No longer a disease of predominantly rich nations, the prevalence of diabetes is steadily increasing everywhere, most markedly in the world’s middle-income countries.
Unfortunately, in many settings the lack of effective policies to create supportive environments for healthy lifestyles and the lack of access to quality health care means that the prevention and treatment of diabetes, particularly for people of modest means, are not being pursued.
When diabetes is uncontrolled, it has dire consequences for health and well-being.
In addition, diabetes and its complications impact harshly on the finances of individuals and their families, and the economies of nations. People with diabetes who depend on life-saving insulin pay the ultimate price when access to affordable insulin is lacking.
In an effort to address this growing health challenge, since early this decade world leaders have committed to reducing the burden of diabetes as one of four priority noncommunicable diseases (NCDs).
As part of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, Member States have set an ambitious target to reduce premature mortality from NCDs – including diabetes – by one third; achieve universal health coverage; and provide access to affordable essential medicines – all by 2030.
We have an enormous task at hand, which is why I welcome this first WHO Global report on diabetes. The report makes an important contribution to our understanding of diabetes and its consequences.
It advances our understanding of trends in diabetes prevalence, of the contribution of high blood glucose (including diabetes) to premature mortality, and of what action governments are taking to prevent and control diabetes.
From the analysis it is clear we need stronger responses not only from different sectors of government, but also from civil society and people with diabetes themselves, and also producers of food and manufacturers of medicines and medical technologies.
The report reminds us that effectively addressing diabetes does not just happen: it is the result of collective consensus and public investment in interventions that are affordable, cost-effective and based on the best available science.
Please join me in ensuring that the findings of this report are used and its recommendations implemented so that we may indeed halt the rise in diabetes.