The World Health Organization has declared diabetes the focus for World Health Day on Thursday 7 April 2016

According to the World Health Organization (WHO) there are 347 million people living with diabetes; of this figure 312 million (90%) have type 2. The global urgency is acute: if diabetes was a country it would be the world’s third largest – that’s bigger than the population of the United States.

In New South Wales there are 385,000 people registered as having diabetes but Diabetes Australia estimate there could be as many as 500,000 Australians living with diabetes who don’t yet know it. Plus a further 2 million who are dangerously at risk of developing the condition.

The WHO’s global campaign focuses on the rise in diabetes, particularly type 2 in low- and middle- income countries. The campaign aims to trigger a set of effective actions to prevent, diagnose, treat and care for people with diabetes.

Focusing on the rise of diabetes in Australia, Sturt Eastwood, CEO of Diabetes NSW, said: “Type 2 diabetes is the fastest growing chronic disease in Australia – it kills more of us than breast, prostate and brain cancer combined in any one year and costs our health system $14.6 billion a year; a figure that could blow out to $30 billion by 2025.

“Stopping the rise of type 2 diabetes in Australia is possible. We know that up to 58% of type 2 diabetes cases are preventable through lifestyle changes. It requires a coordinated effort from our Government, health professionals, employers, the media and individuals themselves to better read the signs, manage and prevent diabetes.”

To mark the day Diabetes NSW launched a fundraising campaign encouraging people to get on board with raising awareness by hosting a healthy breakfast during the month of April. #WHD2016

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