Today, November 14th, is ‘World Diabetes Day,’ jointly launched in 1991 by WHO and the International Diabetes Federation in response to the rapid rise of diabetes globally.
IDF is an umbrella organization of over 230 diabetes associations in 170 countries and territories, representing the interests of the growing number of diabetics.
Diabetes Day is commemorated with campaigns to spread awareness on ‘diabetes mellitus,’ a non-communicable disease (NCD) from metabolic disorders characterized by high blood sugar levels over a prolonged period.
In type-1 diabetes, the body doesn’t make insulin: a pancreatic hormone which enables body cells to use sugar to produce energy...
In type-2 diabetes, the body doesn’t make or use insulin well enough.
Diabetes symptoms include high blood sugar/glucose levels, frequent urination, increased thirst and hunger.
Briefly put: diabetes mellitus impairs the body’s ability to produce or respond to insulin (‘insulin rejection’), resulting in abnormal metabolism of carbohydrates and elevated levels of glucose in the blood.
If left uncontrolled, diabetes causes many complications, including cardiovascular diseases, neuropathy (nerve damage), nephropathy (kidney damage) and retinopathy (eye damage), hearing impairment, Alzheimer’s disease, feet damage and adverse skin conditions...
Diabetes is one of the several non-communicable diseases currently plaguing the world. Other non-communicable diseases (NCDs) are, for example: Parkinson’s disease, autoimmune diseases, strokes, most heart diseases and cancers, chronic kidney diseases, osteoarthritis, osteoporosis, Alzheimer’s disease, cataracts...
NCDs are not transmissible directly from one person to another. For example, tuberculosis is NOT an NCD; it is an infectious malady caused by Mycobacterium tuberculosis...
Today, NCDs are the leading cause of death globally. In 2012, they caused 68 per cent of all deaths (38 million), up from 60 per cent in year-2000. About one-half of the dead were under 70 years old.
Tanzania is facing an increase in NCD-related deaths, with the deaths having doubled in numbers from 1990 to 2015.
As reported by The Citizen on May 20 this year, NCDs accounted for about 33 per cent of all deaths in Tanzania in 2016. This is according to the findings of research by ‘HelpAge International’ and ‘Global Health Watch,’ reported under the title ‘The Right to Health and Access to Universal Health Coverage for Older People.’ [Google for ‘Tanzania faces rise of non-communicable diseases’ by Mnaku Mbani; The
Citizen: May 20, 2019].
Currently, some 425 million people are living with diabetes mellitus on Planet Earth this side of Hades – mostly Type-2 diabetes, which is preventable through regular physical activity, a healthy and balanced
diet: healthy living generally...
Is all this ‘Shangri-La in the Lost Horizon?’ You can say that again...
Anyway, whether one likes it or not, diabetes is a matter for concern not only for individuals and families/households; it is also a matter for concern nationally and internationally. Hence the 2-year theme:
‘The Family and Diabetes,’ which held forth in 2018 and 2019.
But, is it true that there is no cure for diabetes? How much money would the big pharmaceutical companies (‘Big Pharma’) lose if and when a cure is found for the hydra-headed malady?
The global diabetes market was valued at $48,753.1 million in 2018 – and is projected to grow to $78,261.7 million by end-2026.