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All women with diabetes deserve the right to a healthy future

pregnancy diabetes
pregnancy diabetes

Shaukat Sadikot

President, International Diabetes Federation

There are currently over 204 million women living with diabetes; a total that is projected to increase to 308 million by 2045.

“Over two million women die as a result of diabetes each year. In pregnancy, poorly-controlled diabetes increases the risk of maternal and foetal complications.

Tuesday 14th November is World Diabetes Day, and our focus this year is women and diabetes.

“The International Diabetes Federation (IDF) is promoting the importance of affordable and equitable access for all women at risk of, or living with, diabetes to the essential medicines, technologies, self-management education and information they require to achieve optimal diabetes outcomes and strengthen their capacity to prevent type 2 diabetes.

“Girls and women with diabetes experience a range of challenges. Power dynamics, gender roles and socioeconomic inequalities influence vulnerability to diabetes, such as by exposing women to poor diet and nutrition and physical inactivity disproportionately. These factors also affect women’s access to health services and health-seeking behaviour, therefore amplifying the impact of diabetes on women, particularly in developing countries.

“There is, however, room for optimism. Most cases of type 2 diabetes could be prevented by adopting a healthy lifestyle. This is where the role of women and girls is critically important as they are key agents in the adoption of healthy lifestyles to improve the health and wellbeing of future generations. As gatekeepers of household nutrition and lifestyle habits, they have the potential to drive prevention from the household and beyond.

“Join me this World Diabetes Day in lending your voice of support to catalyse a global approach to tackle this challenge.”

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