WHO predicts diabetes will be the 7th leading cause of death by 2030

WHO marks World Health Day

Baku. 7 April. REPORT.AZ/ In 1948, the First World Health Assembly called for the creation of a World Health Day to mark the founding of WHO. Since 1950, World Health Day has been celebrated every year on 7 April with a different theme. Each theme reflects a priority area of current concern to WHO. The Day launches longer-term advocacy programmes that continue well beyond 7 April, Report informs.

World Health Day is a worldwide opportunity to focus on key public health issues. WHO/Europe contributes by highlighting activities and analysis on the chosen theme from and about the Member States of the WHO European Region, and WHO/Europe country offices hold special events to draw attention to the theme and foster debate among policy-makers and other stakeholders.

In the European Region, 64 million people live with diabetes, and the disease claims tens of thousands of lives each year. However, estimates show that at least 20% of cases of type 2 diabetes are avoidable.

The launch of the new Global report on diabetes coincides with World Health Day 2016, which is focused on combating diabetes, a disease that WHO predicts will be the 7th leading cause of death by 2030. The report describes the burden and consequences of diabetes and advocates for stronger health systems to ensure improved surveillance, enhanced prevention and more effective management of the disease.

"The WHO European Region may not be home to the highest rates of diabetes in the world, but some countries in the Region have prevalence rates of up to 14%," said Dr Zsuzsanna Jakab, WHO Regional Director for Europe, on World Health Day. "The countries of this Region have a huge burden of diabetes, and their health systems often struggle to control the disease and manage its complications. The surge in diabetes will continue unless there is a concerted, whole-of-society effort to stop it."

For World Health Day, the WHO Regional Office for Europe has chosen the theme “Be active – Eat healthy – Follow medical advice – #Beat diabetes”. This slogan illustrates the key areas on which countries can focus policy efforts to reduce the risk of their populations for diabetes, such as promoting increased physical activity and improved nutrition.

"The risk factors for diabetes are closely connected to the risks for other noncommunicable diseases," said Dr Jakab. "On World Health Day, as we focus specifically on this disease, we should also remember that prevention of diabetes must be integrated into population approaches to preventing noncommunicable diseases as a group. The only sure way to control the diabetes epidemic is to stop people getting diabetes, and we are more likely to succeed by using an integrated approach. At the same time, health systems can do much to empower the millions of Europeans already living with diabetes to control their condition and live free of complications."

The World Health Organization is the United Nations specialized agency for health. It was established on 7 April 1948. WHO's objective, as set out in its Constitution, is the attainment by all peoples of the highest possible level of health. Health is defined in WHO's Constitution as a state of complete physical, mental and social well-being and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity.

WHO is governed by 193 Member States through the World Health Assembly. The Health Assembly is composed of representatives from WHO's Member States. The main tasks of the World Health Assembly are to approve the WHO programme and the budget for the following biennium and to decide major policy questions.

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