The rise in diabetes around the globe is one of the greatest health catastrophes the world has seen, according to Wish. Image Credit: Stock picture

Manama: A Qatar-based call to policymakers around the world to act to prevent the alarming rise in Type 2 diabetes rates is being answered by Members of Parliament in Australia in a bid to further raise the profile of the condition and inspire stakeholders to action.

The World Innovation Summit for Health (Wish) has partnered with the Parliamentarians for Diabetes Global Network (PDGN), a major advocacy programme of the International Diabetes Federation (IDF), to present its diabetes report to Parliamentarians in Australia and elevate the diabetes debate on the national policy agenda.

According to Wish, the rise in diabetes around the globe is one of the greatest health catastrophes the world has seen.

“With 382 million people now affected by the condition, which causes heart disease, stroke, blindness and death, it imposes an immense burden on health systems and national economies, and currently absorbs 11 per cent of global health spending,” Wish said in its report issued in the Qatari capital Doha.

According to the IDF, the countries with the highest growth in diabetes prevalence between 2013 and 2035 will be the UAE, Oman and Qatar.

Rates in the Middle East and North Africa (Mena) as a whole will increase by 96.2 per cent by 2035.

The WISH report, ‘Rising To The Challenge: Preventing and Managing Type 2 Diabetes’, revealed that Type 2 diabetes is set to affect an estimated 10 per cent of the world’s adult population (nearly 600 million people) by 2035.

“Diabetes is fast becoming a worldwide epidemic and it is our role to raise awareness about the seriousness of the issue, promote prevention and early detection, and advocate for ways to improve care, support and management of diabetes,” Ken Wyatt, Chair of the Parliamentary Diabetes Support Group, said. “The Wish report puts a spotlight on this devastating illness and we are delighted to be working closely with Wish to help stem the tide of diabetes in Australia and beyond.”

The report was published by the Wish Diabetes Research Forum, chaired by Stephen Colagiuri, Professor of Metabolic Health and Director of The Boden Institute at the University of Sydney, at the second Wish summit, which took place in February in Qatar. The summit brought together more than 1,200 health care leaders and policymakers from 90 countries.

“Combating rising rates of diabetes should be a worldwide priority,” Professor the Lord Darzi of Denham, Executive Chair of Wish and Director of the Institute of Global Health Innovation at Imperial College of London, said. “Often, the impact of diabetes, alongside other chronic conditions, is underestimated. We must act now to prevent the disease before it becomes unmanageable for future generations. I am delighted that Parliamentarians in Australia will be reviewing our report to consider its policy recommendations, which we hope will enhance the debate and inform action on the diabetes pandemic for the benefit of populations everywhere.”