WHO suggests strengthening primary health care, educating families key to tackle diabetes

NEW DELHI, Nov 13:
Strengthening primary health care, creating green spaces and outdoor gyms and empowering families are some of the measures listed out by the World Health Organisation to its member countries in South East Asia to tackle rising cases of diabetes.
Though these measures go beyond the health sector, WHO Regional Director for South-East Asia Dr Poonam Khetrapal Singh stressed that health authorities should act as nodal agencies, working across sectors to find high-impact solutions that also reduce health care costs.
An estimated 91 million people in the South East Asia region have diabetes and around 49 million, more than half, are unaware of their condition, Singh said.
As part of the region’s primary health care approach in tackling diabetes, families must be empowered to act as they have an important role in creating awareness of the risks of diabetes, Singh suggested.
“They are also the first to identify diabetes’ signs, symptoms, risks and complications. When complemented by access to quality primary health care, families are an important asset in the battle against diabetes,” she said.
Families can be made aware via social and behavioral change campaigns that highlight their role as a first line of defense. Campaigns should also outline how families can work together to develop healthy habits. (PTI)