A report looking at the prevalence of type-2 diabetes worldwide has warned that an estimated 600 million people will suffer from the disease by 2035. The report, “Rising to the Challenge”,was published at the World Innovation Summit for Health (WISH) which kicked off here Tuesday. The report urges policymakers to address the serious, urgent and universal diabetes challenge.

According to the report, the cost of direct healthcare for diabetes and its complications was around 11 per cent of total healthcare costs worldwide in 2014, which is equivalent to USD 612 billion and is greater than the entire GDP of countries such as Nigeria or Sweden. “Improving disease management for people with diabetes to reduce complication rates, establish effective surveillance to identify and support those at risk of type 2 diabetes and deliver a range of interventions to help create an environment focused on prevention,” the report said while proposing three clinical goals.

The expert report also said that type-2 diabetes currently affects about 350 million people worldwide. It said that 80 per cent of the world’s diabetic population lives in countries where only 20 per cent of the global budget for healthcare is spent. “Doing nothing is not an option, so it is vital that we share and learn from best practice examples from around the world and put interventions in place,” said Stephen Colagiuri, Professor of Metabolic Health at University of Sydney, Australia, who led the team that published the report.

The report focuses on proposing actionable recommendations which enable policymakers to improve disease management, increase effective surveillance and implement prevention strategies, based on innovative approaches from around the world. This is one of eight reports being presented at the WISH Summit 2015 where leading international health experts, leaders and policymakers are participating to discuss innovative solutions to some of the most pressing global health challenges. Type-2 diabetes is a metabolic disorder where high levels of blood sugar occur and if left untreated, it can cause heart attacks, strokes, blindness and kidney failure.

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