Global Diabetes Compact to increase access to testing, treatment: WHO

About half of all adults with type 2 diabetes remain undiagnosed

By DTE Staff
Published: Friday 16 April 2021
Global Diabetes Compact to increase access to testing, treatment: WHO. Photo: WHO

The World Health Organization (WHO) launched a Global Diabetes Compact to better fight the disease while marking the centenary of the discovery of insulin. The programme will focus on scaling up access to diagnostic tools and medicines in low- and middle-income countries, said a WHO press note.

Diabetes is one of the major comorbid conditions linked to severe COVID-19 infections. “The number of people with diabetes has quadrupled in the last 40 years.  It is the only major noncommunicable disease for which the risk of dying early is going up, rather than down,” said Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, WHO director-general.

About half of all adults with type 2 diabetes remain undiagnosed and 50 per cent of people with type 2 diabetes don’t get the insulin they need, WHO said in the statement.

The launch, hosted by WHO and government of Canada April 14, 2021, was joined by the President of Kenya, Prime Ministers of Fiji, Norway and Singapore, Michael Bloomberg (WHO Global Ambassador for Noncommunicable Diseases and Injuries), health ministers of several countries, diabetes experts and people living with the disease, along with other United Nations agencies.

The programme, launched at the Global Diabetes Summit, will set standards for tackling the diseases in the form of ‘global coverage targets’ for ensuring a wider reach of diabetes care. The bodies will also release a ‘global price tag’ that will calculate the “costs and benefits of meeting these targets, said the press brief.

The proponents were inspired by the success of the “all hand on deck” approach seen during the COVID-19 pandemic. “A key aim of the Global Diabetes Compact is to unite key stakeholders from the public and private sectors, and, critically, people who live with diabetes, around a common agenda, to generate new momentum and co-create solutions,” said Dr Bente Mikkelsen, Director of the Department of Noncommunicable Diseases at WHO.

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