This year, World Health Day’s important platform is promoting the efforts to prevent and beat Diabetes. Diabetes is a preventable and treatable disease that is rapidly increasing across the world. Lifestyle measures have shown to be effective in preventing or delaying the onset of Type 2 Diabetes – some of the lifestyle suggestions is maintaining your appropriate body weight, eating a healthy diet and participating in regular physical activity. The World Health Organization (WHO) estimates that 350 million people in the world have Diabetes, with it being the direct cause of some 1.5 million deaths. The ultimate goal of World Health Day for April 2016, is to increase awareness and prevention, strengthen care and enhance surveillance.
Here is some background and facts on Diabetes according to WHO:
- Diabetes is a chronic disease that occurs either when the pancreas does not produce enough insulin or when the body cannot effectively use the insulin it produces. Insulin, a hormone that regulates blood sugar, gives us the energy that we need to live. If it cannot get into the cells to be burned as energy, sugar builds up to harmful levels in the blood.
- There are 2 main forms of the diabetes. People with type 1 diabetes typically make none of their own insulin and therefore require insulin injections to survive. People with type 2 diabetes, the form that comprises some 90% of cases, usually produce their own insulin, but not enough or they are unable to use it properly. People with type 2 diabetes are typically overweight and sedentary, 2 conditions that raise a person’s insulin needs.
- Over time, high blood sugar can seriously compromise every major organ system in the body, causing heart attacks, strokes, nerve damage, kidney failure, blindness, impotence and infections that can lead to amputations.
How can you get involved? We invite everyone who has/had Diabetes to engage in online discussions through Twitter, Instagram, Facebook and YouTube using hashtag #Diabetes and share images and stories relating to your experience(s). We also suggest that just because it is being promoted for one day to continue with your campaign all year long. Perhaps there is someone out there that you can reach, discuss with and guide.
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