Diabetes: Nurses make the difference | The Daily Star
12:00 AM, November 15, 2020 / LAST MODIFIED: 12:00 AM, November 15, 2020

Diabetes: Nurses make the difference

Yesterday (November 14) was the world diabetes day. The theme World Diabetes Day 2020 is "Diabetes: Nurses make the difference". The campaign aims to raise awareness around the crucial role that nurses play in supporting people living with diabetes. Nurses currently account for over half of the global health workforce. They do outstanding work to support people living with a wide range of health concerns. People who either live with diabetes or are at risk of developing the condition need their support too.

Why 14 November has been chosen as World Diabetes Day? The 14 November is the birthday of Sir Frederick Banting, who co-discovered insulin along with Charles Best in 1922. In 2006, the United Nations passed resolution 61/225 to observe November 14 as World Diabetes Day and to take action to address the threat. In response to diabetes epidemic the International Diabetes Federation (IDF) and the World Health Organisation (WHO) created World Diabetes Day in 1991. Every year November 14 World Diabetes Day brings diabetes to the attention of world.

IDF found four-in-five parents would have trouble recognising the warning signs. One-in-three would not spot them at all. These alarming findings pushed IDF to attract the family concern to combat diabetes.

The findings underline the need for education and awareness to help people spot the diabetes warning signs early. A lack of knowledge about diabetes means that spotting the warning signs is not just a problem for parents, but is an issue impacting a cross-section of society. This is a major concern, due to the signs being milder in type 2 diabetes, the most prevalent form of the condition, responsible for around 90% of all diabetes. One in two people currently living with diabetes are undiagnosed. The vast majority of these have type 2 diabetes.

If left untreated or unmanaged, diabetes can lead to life-changing complications. These include blindness, amputation, kidney failure, heart attack and stroke. Diabetes was responsible for four million deaths in 2017.

On eve of the day, IDF is trying create huge awareness to attract the authorities, diabetes care givers, patients with diabetes and their well-wishers to initiate diabetes prevention programmes, conduct own surveys/ research, mobilise resources, engage the educational means and implement the healthy life style facilities.

This is very much pertinent for Bangladesh, to take appropriate steps to prevent and manage diabetes.

The writer is an Associate Professor at the Department of Endocrinology & Metabolism of Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujib Medical University (BSMMU).Email: selimshahjada@gmail.com


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