AsianScientist (Nov. 14, 2011) – Celebrated annually on November 14, World Diabetes Day is led by the International Diabetes Federation (IDF), an umbrella organization of over 200 national diabetes associations in over 160 countries.
World Diabetes Day was created in 1991 by the IDF and the World Health Organization (WHO) in response to growing concerns about the escalating health threat that diabetes now poses.
It became an official United Nations Day in 2007 with the passage of United Nation Resolution 61/225.
This year, World Diabetes Day marks the release of the International Diabetes Federation’s 5th edition of the Diabetes Atlas, which describes the effect of rapid development and increasing life spans on the global epidemic.
New figures indicate that the number of people living with diabetes is expected to rise from 366 million in 2011 to 552 million by 2030.
In 2011, there were 71.4 million people with diabetes in Southeast Asia; this number is expected to increase to 120.9 million by 2030. In particular, India will face one of the toughest struggles against diabetes in the region with 61.3 million diabetics, placing the country second to China.
Southeast Asia also has one of the highest estimates of prevalence of type 1 diabetes in children. Due to its large childhood population India accounts for most of the 112,000 children in the region with type 1 diabetes.
“We must do all we can to combat the onslaught of the diabetes epidemic,” said Dhruba Lall Singh, Chair of IDF’s Southeast Asia region.
“India is obviously a large concern but we still need to keep an eye on the smaller countries. Mauritius now has the highest prevalence in the region at 15.1 percent. We need urgent action now, from all sectors,” he said.
The regional figures echo the shocking increase in diabetes on a global level.
“In every country and in every community worldwide, we are losing the battle against this cruel and deadly disease,” said IDF President Jean Claude Mbanya.
“We want World Diabetes Day 2011 to bring these alarming diabetes facts into the global spotlight. We demand that public and world leaders act on diabetes now,” he said.
The release of these figures follow a September UN meeting by 193 Heads of State and government in New York to tackle the rising threat of non-communicable diseases (NCDs) globally.
Source: International Diabetes Federation.
Disclaimer: This article does not necessarily reflect the views of AsianScientist or its staff.