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Health sector calls for action against diabetes

Update: April, 08/2016 - 09:00
People get free tests and consultation on diabetes. Việt Nam currently has some three million people suffering from diabetes, of which, more than 60 per cent are unaware of their condition.—Photo
Viet Nam News -

HÀ NỘI (VNS) — The health sector has called for action to halt the rise of diabetes and improve care for people suffering from the disease at a workshop held yesterday in Hà Nội.

The workshop is organised on the occasion of World Health Day on April 7.

“Việt Nam has faced the rising burden of disease in the form of diabetes and other non-communicable diseases,” Deputy Minister of Health Nguyễn Thanh Long said at the event.

Long said the country’s diabetes rate had doubled to 5.4 per cent of the population in 2012, compared with 2.7 per cent in 2002. Việt Nam currently has some three million people with diabetes, of which, more than 60 per cent are unaware of their condition.

“Diabetes is caused by many risky behaviours, such as poor nutrition, the lack of physical exercise, smoking and alcohol abuse. To prevent and control diabetes, priority should be given to the effective enforcement of laws and regulations on tobacco control, food safety and environmental protection,” Long said.

The deputy minister said the health care system should be further strengthened to improve examination and treatment quality at hospitals and grassroots health care, preventive medicine and family doctor systems to enable early detection and better manage and treat diabetics in the community.

“Efforts to prevent diabetes in Việt Nam should be strengthened, especially in preventing obesity. Healthy eating habits and physical exercise practised from a young age could stop the rise of diabetes in adults,” the World Health Organisation (WHO) representative to Việt Nam Lokky Wai said.

Wai also suggested that Việt Nam expand its health-promoting campaigns to reduce risk factors for diabetes, such as physical inactivity and unhealthy diets, and strengthen the national capacity to help diabetics receive the treatment and care they need to manage their condition.

Diabetes is a chronic, progressive non-communicable disease characterised by elevated levels of blood glucose (sugar). It occurs either when the pancreas does not produce enough of the insulin hormone, which regulates blood sugar, or when the body cannot effectively use the insulin it produces.

The number of people living with diabetes worldwide has almost quadrupled since 1980 to 422 million adults, with most living in developing countries. Obesity is one of the factors driving this dramatic rise, according to statistics from WHO.

WHO is marking its annual World Health Day, which celebrates the organisation’s founding in 1948, by issuing a call for action against diabetes. —VNS

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