WHO: Diabetes - a patient’s view

"Evelyne Musera didn’t know what was making her ill when she checked into a Kenyan clinic in 1996. It turned out to be type 2 diabetes. Since then she has learnt to manage her condition, but still faces multiple challenges."
Watch this informative video from the World Health Organization

If in doubt, check!

"Symptoms for diabetes include thirst, hunger, weight loss, fatigue and blurred vision. However, many people who have diabetes do not have symptoms. If people think they might have the disease, consulting a health-care professional is recommended." - World Health Organization, 2016

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This informational graphic was originally published on the World Health Organization's website. It has been republished here with permission.

WHO: Diabetes - a doctor’s view

"Dr Nancy Ngugi is in charge of the diabetes ward at Nairobi’s biggest public hospital. She says greater awareness about noncommunicable diseases in general – and especially diabetes – is needed to reduce the pain and hardship caused by such conditions."
Watch this informative video from the World Health Organization



Diabetes - Fact Sheet

by World Health Organization

Key facts

  • In 2014 the global prevalence of diabetes * was estimated to be 9% among adults aged 18+ years (1).
  • In 2012, an estimated 1.5 million deaths were directly caused by diabetes (2).
  • More than 80% of diabetes deaths occur in low- and middle-income countries (2).
  • WHO projects that diabetes will be the 7th leading cause of death in 2030 (3).
  • Healthy diet, regular physical activity, maintaining a normal body weight and avoiding tobacco use can prevent or delay the onset of type 2 diabetes (4).

What is diabetes?

Diabetes is a chronic disease that occurs either when the pancreas does not produce enough insulin or when the body cannot effectively use the insulin it produces. Insulin is a hormone that regulates blood sugar (5). Hyperglycaemia, or raised blood sugar, is a common effect of uncontrolled diabetes and over time leads to serious damage to many of the body's systems, especially the nerves and blood vessels.

In 2014, 9% of adults 18 years and older had diabetes. In 2012 diabetes was the direct cause of 1.5 million deaths. More than 80% of diabetes deaths occur in low- and middle-income countries.

  • Type 1 diabetes

Type 1 diabetes (previously known as insulin-dependent, juvenile or childhood-onset) is characterized by deficient insulin production and requires daily administration of insulin. The cause of type 1 diabetes is not known and it is not preventable with current knowledge.

Symptoms include excessive excretion of urine (polyuria), thirst (polydipsia), constant hunger, weight loss, vision changes and fatigue. These symptoms may occur suddenly.