Almost half of UK population believe government should be doing more to tackle the condition.
Rising numbers of people being diagnosed with type 2 diabetes around the world has led many people to blame governments for not doing enough.
A recently published report by the International Diabetes Federation (IDF) found that just 17% of people believed their government was doing enough to tackle diabetes.
Almost half of the population (41%) in the UK specifically believed the government should be doing more to address the growth in diagnoses.
The greatest demand for action was in developing countries. In Brazil, India and South Africa more than half of the population (58%, 56% and 51% respectively) did not believe their governments were doing enough.
The growing diabetes epidemic will be discussed at a United Nations General Assembly meeting on 27th September to discuss non-communicable diseases. The IDF study authors hoped their findings will urge country leaders to make diabetes a top priority for their health budgets.
Diabetes caused more than 4 million deaths last year and is a leading global cause of heart disease, blindness, kidney failure, and lower-limb amputation. If current lifestyle trends continue, the numbers living with diabetes is expected to rise rapidly to more than 500 million people (one in ten of the global population) within a decade. Most people with diabetes have type 2 diabetes.
It is estimated that around 80% of new diagnoses of type 2 diabetes could be prevented with better education and healthier lifestyle changes.
However, the report found that despite the scale of the problem, there was a lack of urgency to reverse the rising numbers of new cases of the condition.
Professor Nam H. Cho, President of the International Diabetes Federation, said: “The cost of diabetes is significant to individuals and society. Behind the staggering numbers are the untold stories of many individuals trying to manage their diabetes and prevent the devastating complications associated with it. Improving awareness, investing in education to promote prevention, early diagnosis and treatment, and ensuring affordable access to medication and care is critical to controlling the epidemic. Governments must do more and now is the time for them to take responsibility and be accountable.”
A pledge to achieve a 0% increase in diabetes and obesity by 2025 was made by governments in 2014. However, today just five countries have said they are on track to achieve this goal and families want to see governments do more.
Current lifestyle trends suggest that 522 million people (almost 7% of the world’s population) will have diabetes by 2030.
The report authors said they want governments to use existing financial resources to ensure essential diabetes medicines and supplies, such as insulin, are accessible and affordable.
Although people with type 1 diabetes need insulin to stay alive it can still be a struggle to access a reliable supply for many people with the condition, particularly those in low and middle-income countries.
Apoorva Gomber, an IDF Young Leader in Diabetes from India, who was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes in 2009, said: “For me, insulin is a matter of life or death. I am fortunate to be able to access the insulin and care that I require to live a healthy life, free of complications, but for many like me it is too expensive or out of reach. That is unacceptable.”