Around the globe, more than 350 million people live with diabetes, and that number is projected to grow. Most—about 90 percent—have type 2 diabetes, in which a person’s body is unable to properly use insulin to break down glucose in the blood. There is no cure for diabetes, but there are treatments that help manage the disease and prevent dangerous complications.
However, many people worldwide do not have access to treatments. The WHO estimates that “more than 80 percent of diabetes deaths occur in low- and middle-income countries.” Complications from not treating diabetes are increased risk of heart disease, nerve damage, loss of sight and kidney failure. In fact, diabetes is the leading cause of blindness, amputation and kidney failure.
Want to test your diabetes knowledge? Take the WHO quiz.
Committed to preventing and reducing the effects of global illnesses, the World Health Organization has helped provide guidelines for diabetes prevention, developed standards for diabetes diagnosis and care, and built awareness campaigns like World Diabetes Day on November 14 to shed light on the challenge.
Curious about the campaign? Visit the World Health Organization’s website for more facts, posters and stories about diabetes around the world. And, join WHO and others on social media April 7.
Like the World Health Organization, we are deeply committed to improving the lives of people who live with diabetes. Medical IDs are valuable tools that inform medical professionals that you may experience a low blood sugar because of diabetes treatments. Read more about the importance of wearing a medical ID if you have diabetes, and shop for your custom diabetes ID.
Sources: World Health Organization