WHA reaches ‘breakthrough second’ on diabetes

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A person holds a lancing device in front of a blood glucose meter. Photo by: PhotoMIX Company from Pexel

The 74th World Health Assembly passed an initial resolution that civil society hopes can help “turn the tide on diabetes”.

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The resolution calls on the World Health Organization to consider developing goals and assess the feasibility and value of establishing a web-based tool to share information relevant to the transparency of the diabetes drug markets, including insulin, oral hypoglycemics and related drugs Health products including information on investments, incentives and subsidies. ”

These are issues that were somewhat pushed aside during the negotiations between the Member States before the start of the WHA.

Nina Renshaw, director of policy and advocacy for the NCD Alliance, called it a “breakthrough” for global policy and investment.

“It is [a] The critical realization that governments failed to meet the 2013 target to halt the rise in diabetes, ”she said. “On the contrary: global trends are dramatically moving in the opposite direction. Since 2000, deaths from diabetes have increased by 70% worldwide.”

“As we now know, this put people and communities at risk during the pandemic. It is therefore very much to be welcomed that WHO has been asked to consider goals to save lives and prevent life-changing complications such as amputation, kidney disease and blindness, and to develop recommendations for securing sustainable funding, ”she added.

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WHO must now work with governments, civil society, the private sector and people with diabetes to develop these goals and submit them for adoption next year, Renshaw said.

Opinion: NCDs and fair decommissioning of COVID-19 – if not now, when?

The world’s failure to invest in NCDs has come to a halt again during the pandemic. Better remediation requires a higher priority for NCDs and integrated responses, argues Katie Dain, CEO of the NCD Alliance.

In addition to diabetes, the WHA passed resolutions on oral and eye health, as well as decisions on a NCD roadmap and the global NCD coordination mechanism, which can help bring together various stakeholders to find solutions to reduce NCDs. WHO is also developing a proposal for a global action plan to reduce the harm caused by alcohol use.

Renshaw hopes these will be built into an overarching framework to help governments accelerate NCD action and meet Sustainable Development Goal 3.4, which will reduce premature mortality from NCDs by a third by 2030 should.

“Some of them are asking WHO to come up with proposals next year. So 2022 will be an even bigger year for NCDs, ”she said.

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