More than 83 lakh people in Bangladesh currently suffer from diabetes, and half of them are women, says the International Diabetes Federation (IDF).
According to the federation, there is no family in the world, including in Bangladesh, that does not have at least one diabetic patient, or whose members are not at risk of diabetes. However, half of the diabetics across the globe, including in Bangladesh, do not even know that they have the metabolic disease which causes high blood sugar.
Against such a backdrop, Bangladesh is set to observe World Diabetes Day, Saturday, like in previous years.
At a press conference on Thursday, the Diabetic Association of Bangladesh said it will distribute posters, leaflets and hold free diabetes tests, as well as host a road show and rally in Dhaka's Shahbagh to raise awareness among the public, commemorating the day.
Currently, 46.3 crore people have diabetes worldwide, which is 8.9% of the total population. The 2020 International Diabetes Federation Atlas clarifies that if the rise of the disease is not halted by taking up sufficient measures, the number of diabetics will exceed 69 crore by 2045.
South Asia alone is home to 8.8 crore diabetics while in Bangladesh, 83 lakh people suffer from the disease.
Additionally, the federation says that 20 out of every 100 pregnant women are diagnosed with diabetes in developing countries, and of them 65% are more susceptible to developing type-2 diabetes.
Diabetic Association of Bangladesh President Professor AK Azad Khan told The Business Standard that though it is not possible to completely cure the non-communicable disease, 80% of cases can be prevented if people live a disciplined and controlled life.
"Around 25% of the people in the country are newly diagnosed with the disease. Pregnant women have a more than 95% higher risk of developing type-2 diabetes while smoking increases the risk by 30-40%," he added.
Meanwhile, Secretary General of the association Md Sayef Uddin said, "Currently, 60% or around 50 lakh of the diabetes patients have been brought under medical services. The diabetes association is providing services across the country at 32 centres and 61 affiliated associations and 19 sub-affiliated associations of the Bangladesh Institute of Research and Rehabilitation in Diabetes, National Healthcare Network and Bangladesh Institute of Health Sciences Hospital."
Sayef Uddin said that they spent more than Tk91 crore on medical services last year.
Diabetes is a chronic, metabolic disease characterised by elevated levels of blood sugar, which leads over time to serious damage to the: heart, blood vessels, eyes, kidneys, and nerves. The most common is type-2 diabetes, usually in adults, which occurs when the body becomes resistant to insulin or does not make enough insulin.
In the past three decades the prevalence of type-2 diabetes has risen dramatically in countries of all income levels.
Type-1 diabetes, once known as juvenile diabetes or insulin-dependent diabetes, is a chronic condition in which the pancreas produces little or no insulin by itself. For people living with diabetes, access to affordable treatment, including insulin, is critical to their survival.
According to the World Health Organization (WHO), there is a globally agreed target to halt the rise in diabetes and obesity by 2025.