Wednesday 23 September, 2020

The silent killer: Diabetes

According to the International Diabetes Federation (IDF), one in every two persons worldwide may be unaware that they have diabetes.

Diabetes is a huge and growing burden: 415 million adults were living with diabetes in 2015 and this number is expected to increase to around 642 million or one in ten adults by 2040.

With 12.9 percent of the adult population affected, the North America and Caribbean Region has the highest prevalence of diabetes compared to the other IDF regions.

In the North America and Caribbean (NAC) Region 44.3 million people were diagnosed with the virus, with 60.5 million estimated to have the disease by 2040.

Even more alarming is the fact that one in every two persons is undiagnosed with the disease.

Screening for type 2 diabetes is important to modify its course and reduce the risk of complications. 

Many people live with type 2 diabetes for a long period of time without being aware of their condition. By the time of diagnosis, diabetes complications may already be present.

World Diabetes Day 2016, commemorated on November 14, focuses on associated complications such as blindness and pinpoints how to maintain eye health.

The theme for 2016, “Towards Universal Eye Health”, presents the regional action plan to reduce avoidable visual impairment in the region.

Up to 70 percent of type 2 diabetes cases can be prevented or delayed by adopting healthier lifestyles, equivalent to up to 160 million cases by 2040.

With increasing levels of poor nutrition and physical inactivity among children in many countries, type 2 diabetes in childhood has the potential to become a global public health issue leading to serious health outcomes.


What can you do?

People who may be at risk of type 2 diabetes are being asked to #Test2Prevent to avert complications and ensure the early diagnosis and treatment of the disease.

The aim for 2016 is to achieve 1 million individual screenings recorded on the World Diabetes Day website during the month of November.

Persons can learn about the risk of type 2 diabetes by taking an online risk assessment questionnaire and help reach the target of 1 million individuals screened.

Contact your local healthcare providers to find out about testing and screening services being offered this month.

For more information on diabetes awareness in your area, visit


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