Today is World Diabetes Day

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Updated: November 14, 2017

Today is being observed as World Diabetes Day. The Belize Diabetes Association joins the campaign in promoting awareness of the disease which continues to affect millions of people worldwide. There has been an increase in the number of children and young persons affected by the disease. Anthony Castillo, President of the Belize Diabetes Association, says that the International Diabetes Federation today released that 425 million people worldwide are now living with diabetes. In Belize, there has also been an increase. Castillo says 15.7 percent of the population is living with diabetes in Belize, up from 14.2 percent. That’s around over fifty thousand Belizeans living with the condition.

 

Anthony Castillo – President of the Belize Diabetes Association

“It’s very concerning. We here at the association try to educate and inform Belizeans on living a healthy lifestyle. While we do our part the association alone cannot do it, we need efforts from all bodies, Ministry of Education, Ministry of Health, all of our other social partners. It is important to reach to the kids. There are children living with Type 1 diabetes- there are basically three types of diabetes you have Type 1 which is found in children and young adults, then we have Type 2 mostly found in adults which is a lifestyle condition and we have gestational diabetes which is found in women when they become pregnant. What is alarming to us is children and young adults developing Type 2 diabetes which is a lifestyle condition, so you develop Type 2 diabetes because you probably were not living too healthy and you become obese, its what you do and don’t do with yourself  that you develop Type 2 diabetes, so it’s alarming to us when we see children developing Type 2 diabetes. In Type 1 its because they were born with the condition but when you develop Type 2 it is because there is something that they are not doing with themselves, they are eating unhealthily, they are not exercising, they are becoming obese. At this time there are no official statistics on children living with Type 1 diabetes but we at the association we invite children and young adults to join our association. So at our association our register we have 75 young children and adults living with diabetes, we are not saying that that is final because we are certain that there are others living with diabetes who have not registered with us.”

The theme for this year is “Women and diabetes – our right to a healthy future”. This year the International Diabetes Federation is promoting the importance of affordable and equitable access for all women at risk for or living with diabetes to the essential diabetes medicines and technologies, self-management education and information they require to achieve optimal diabetes outcomes and strengthen their capacity to prevent type 2 diabetes.

Anthony Castillo – President of the Belize Diabetes Association

“The International Diabetes Federation is saying that women play a major role in the care and control of diabetes and many times they don’t get the recognition which they deserve. In many cases when a person develops diabetes in the home it is the women who take care of these people and even when the women themselves develop these conditions they still need to take care other persons who are living with the condition even themselves. In other parts of the world, there is not equitable access to education, to medication and care of diabetes. So the International Federation has decided that this year we need to celebrate all the women who have contributed so much to the care and control of diabetes.”

There are currently over 199 million women living with diabetes worldwide and the Federation expects this to increase to 313 million by 2040. Diabetes is the ninth leading cause of death in women globally.