WHO launches diabetes compact

April 15, 2021

The World Health Organization (WHO) launched the Global Diabetes Compact, which aims to boost efforts to prevent diabetes and bring treatment to all who need it  ̶  100 years after the discovery of insulin, according to a news release from the organization.

The compact was launched at the Global Diabetes Summit, which is co-hosted by WHO and the government of Canada, with the support of the University of Toronto.

“The need to take urgent action on diabetes is clearer than ever,” said Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, PhD, Director-General of the World Health Organization. “The number of people with diabetes has quadrupled in the last 40 years. It is the only major noncommunicable disease for which the risk of dying early is going up, rather than down. And a high proportion of people who are severely ill in hospital with COVID-19 have diabetes. The Global Diabetes Compact will help to catalyze political commitment for action to increase the accessibility and affordability of life-saving medicines for diabetes and also for its prevention and diagnosis.”

Innovation will be one of the core components of the compact, with a focus on developing and evaluating low-cost technologies and digital solutions for diabetes care.

The compact will also focus on catalyzing progress by setting global coverage targets for diabetes care. A “global price tag” will quantify the costs and benefits of meeting these new targets. The compact will also advocate for fulfilling the commitment made by governments to include diabetes prevention and treatment into primary health care and as part of universal health coverage packages.

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