Every year on November 14, the world celebrates the United Nations (UN) World Diabetes Day (WDD) to raise awareness of the growing escalating health threat that this medical condition poses and educate people about its prevention and management.
Celebrated on the birthday of Sir Frederick Banting, the co-discoverer of insulin alongside Charles Best, World Diabetes Day (WDD) has been commemorated annually since 1991 to educate people about the severity of this growing health concern and its impact on people with diabetes and their families.
In 2014, 422 million people worldwide were expected to have diabetes, compared to 108 million in 1980. Since 1980, the percentage of adults worldwide who suffer from diabetes has almost doubled, from 4.7% to 8.5%.
These numbers also indicate a rise in risk factors that are linked to diabetes, like being obese or overweight. Diabetes prevalence has increased more quickly during the last ten years in low-and middle-income nations than in high-income nations.
100 years after the discovery of insulin, millions of individuals worldwide still do not have access to the care they require. Hence, this year’s theme, “Access to Diabetes Care”, will shed light on the importance of access to care for people with diabetes and its impact on improving their lives.
According to the estimates of the World Health Organization (WHO), the prevalence of diabetes in the Moroccan adult population is 12.4%, and it is the cause of over 12,000 deaths a year, in addition to 32,000 deaths attributable to complications arising from high blood glucose levels.
There are three main types of diabetes: type 1, type 2, and gestational. Type 2 diabetes is common in the vast majority of diabetes cases worldwide and It is generally the result of poor diet, overweight, and lack of physical activity, leading to overweight and obesity.
IN MOROCCO, CASES ARE ON THE RISE
Currently, more than one in three adults worldwide is overweight, and over one in ten is obese. In Morocco, an estimated 55.1% of the population is overweight while 21.7% is obese.
In this regard, the Moroccan League for the Fight against Diabetes (LMLCD) stresses the importance of good management of the condition, minimizing risk factors, implementing educational programs, and monitoring hygienic and dietary measures to improve the living conditions of people with diabetes.
To commemorate this year’s World Diabetes Day, the Ministry of Health and Social Protection has launched a nationwide campaign to screen one million high-risk people in all primary healthcare establishments.
According to a press release by the Moroccan ministry, this initiative, which will be supported by a national awareness and education campaign on diabetes and its complications, aims to mobilize healthcare professionals, civil society, and all partners to fight against diabetes and raise awareness of this condition and its complications.
Spanning over the course of three weeks, the campaign will focus on the importance of prevention at all levels of care by promoting lifelong health for the general population in all settings and encouraging health-conscious behaviors such as a healthy, balanced diet, regular physical activity, smoking cessation, and obesity prevention.
The campaign also seeks to raise awareness of the importance of early detection and diagnosis of diabetes, particularly among high-risk individuals, to enable prompt and effective treatment and ensure proper management of diabetes to prevent complications and premature mortality. It also encourages the development of therapeutic education to help people with diabetes better manage their condition and acquire greater autonomy.
Describing the epidemiological situation of this disease in Morocco as “worrying”, the Ministry pointed out that diabetes affects over 25,000 children and over 2.7 million adults, 50% of whom are undiagnosed, while over 2.2 million are pre-diabetic.
The role of education, information, and training for people who suffer from diabetes and their families is essential in improving results and reducing metabolic and vascular risks. It is only through active participation and rigorous monitoring that people with diabetes can hope to avoid serious and, above all, preventable risks.