Call to action on diabetes care: reaching communities facing health inequalities, health inequities and deprivation
This article presents evidence and policy on the importance of reaching out into local communities with inclusive approaches to try to reduce and prevent inequities and inequalities in diabetes care. The global emergency diabetes is causing and the risks and disproportionately high ethnic disparities are investigated. The article includes some suggestions on changing approaches to reduce health inequalities to enable diabetes care to become more accessible for those who need it the most.
The International Diabetes Federation (IDF) (2021) has announced that diabetes is ‘a significant global challenge to the health and wellbeing of individuals, families and countries’. The prediction of a 46% rise in the number of people with diabetes worldwide, which equates to 783 million people being diagnosed by 2045, is alarming. This is coupled with a widening gap between rich and poor communities in countries and continents where access to health care can be limited and expensive. South East Asia is facing a 69% rise, Europe a 13% rise and across Africa a 134% rise to 2045 (IDF, 2021), which consequently places great pressure on existing services and further widens gaps in limited diabetes care throughout many continents.
In the UK, more than 5 million people are living with diabetes (Diabetes UK, 2023a). This figure, however, does not include the 13.6 million people thought to be at risk of diabetes (Diabetes UK, 2023b). However around 50% of those could prevent their condition developing through the current diabetes prevention programmes available (Poupakis et al, 2023). The World Health Organization (WHO) (2023) has ranked the UK among the those countries in Europe with high numbers of overweight and obese adults, and 1 in 3 children in the European region are reported to be overweight or obese. It is worrying that NHS Digital (2021) has reported an increased incidence in type 2 diabetes in people under 40.
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