World Health Day 2016: Beating Diabetes
By Katie Pace, Marketing Communications Officer, MAP International
We all hear a lot about the benefit of antibiotics and vitamins in third world countries, but what about chronic health issues– like diabetes. Last week, the World Health Organization focused its 2016 World Health Day on beating diabetes – a chronic disease that MAP and our partners have been fighting for decades.
Diabetes is a first world disease that has increasingly become a serious third world problem. The World Health Organization estimates that over 347 million people around the world suffer from diabetes, 29 million of those are in the United States – leaving millions without access to diabetes medications in third world countries. Millions of people just like Alma.
Our team recently met Alma at a rural clinic in Honduras. The tiny clinic was the only one that Alma could feasibly walk to within hours, it’s there that they diagnosed her with diabetes and high blood pressure. The medications that the clinic normally have on hand are spotty at best, but this week MAP was there with medicines in hand. Thankfully, partnering with local clinics like this one gives MAP the ability to provide diabetes medications to patients that would otherwise go without, suffering for years from this chronic disease.
MAP’s Medicines Program receives frequent requests from our field partners for diabetes medicines, which are severely lacking in third world countries – heavily focused in the Caribbean and Latin America.
In 2012, the World Health Organization reported that diabetes was the direct cause of over 1.5 million death, with more than 80% of those death occurring in low and middle income countries, due to lack of access to proper medications. There is some hope for ending this diabetes epidemic.
Here’s what you need to know:
- Diabetes is treatable.
- It can be controlled and managed to prevent complications.
- MAP and many other global health organizations are increasing access to quality medications.
What can you do to stop the diabetes epidemic? You can use the WHOs fantastic World Health Day: Beat Diabetes campaign posters in raising awareness about the rise in diabetes and the consequences in third world countries that we serve. You can also help MAP to procure and deliver vital diabetes medications to clinics and hospitals in Latin America, where they are facing the brunt of this disease.