Most diabetics live in developing countries: IDF
London: Once called a rich man`s disease, diabetes is now sparing none and spreading like an epidemic in developing countries, including India, which house 80 per cent
of world`s diabetic population.
According to the latest data published by the
International Diabetes Federation (IDF) in the fourth edition
of `Diabetes Atlas`, four out of every five people with
diabetes now live in developing countries, with most affected
men and women being of working age.
"It is dismal news that some 285 million people live with
diabetes today. Even worse, low and middle-income countries
are bearing the brunt of the disease," said IDF President Jean
Claude Mbanya in a statement.
According to World Health Organization estimates, India
and China will lose national income to the tune of nearly USD
900 billion between 2005 and 2015 to diabetes and
IDF predicts that diabetes will cost the world economy
USD 376 billion in 2010 and a hundred billion more within a
"Families are losing breadwinners, parents are losing
children, children are losing mothers. Much of this tragic
loss of life is preventable," said Mbanya, who features in a
BBC documentary showcasing the burden of diabetes in the
The half-hour documentary - titled Bittersweet - is being
aired this week as part of BBC World`s `Kill or Cure` series.
Set in Nairobi, Kenya and Pune, India, the film shows how
the South Asian subcontinent is facing a type 2 diabetes
pandemic, while in Africa many countries struggle to put
insulin within reach of people with type 1 diabetes.
In type 2 diabetes, the body either fails to make enough
of the hormone insulin or cannot make proper use of it,
leading to uncontrolled blood sugar levels.
One of the major risk factors for the condition is being
overweight. These people also face greater risk of suffering
from heart disease.
In India, the cost of heart surgery would be around Rs
1.50 lakh (approximately USD 3,213), while it would cost
around USD 50,000 abroad. "It`s an outrage that while treatment and technology
exists for people with diabetes to manage their disease, the
reality is that for millions of people in low and
middle-income countries, modern treatment and technology is
still a dream," said Mbanya. "IDF calls for increased funding for essential medicines
and for governments to make diabetes a priority in national
healthcare plans," he added.
First Published: Thursday, January 14, 2010, 00:00
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