Diabetes is a disease that occurs when the pancreas does not produce enough insulin, or when the body cannot effectively use the insulin it produces.
High blood sugar is a common effect of uncontrolled diabetes. Without the ability to diagnosis and properly manage symptoms, uncontrolled diabetes can cause serious damage to many of the body’s systems, especially the nerves and blood vessels.
Over time, uncontrolled diabetes can lead to complications with vision, poor circulation and amputation of affected limbs, kidney damage, heart disease, stroke, and death.
There are three main types of diabetes:
- Type 1 diabetes occurs when the body does not produce enough insulin. This condition is most common among children and young adults. With regular insulin injections and other therapy, individuals can lead healthy lives.
- Type 2 diabetes occurs when the pancreas produces insulin, but it either doesn’t make enough insulin or the insulin does not work properly. Type 2 diabetes may sometimes be controlled with a combination of diet, weight management and exercise. However, treatment also may include oral glucose-lowering medications or insulin injections.
- Gestational diabetes occurs when a woman’s blood sugar levels remain too high during pregnancy, which can pose serious health risks for both mother and baby. Today one in seven births globally is affected by gestational diabetes.
Quick Facts about Diabetes
- The International Diabetes Federation estimates that over 415 million people – or one out of every 11 adults worldwide — are living with diabetes. This number is expected to rise to 642 million by 2040.
- 80% of people with diabetes live in developing countries.
- One in two adults with the condition is undiagnosed.
- 12% of the world’s global health expenditure totaling $673 billion, is spent on diabetes care.
Our programs focus specifically on Type 2 diabetes and gestational diabetes. Many, though not all, risk factors associated with both conditions are the result of lifestyle choices that can be successfully managed with diet and exercise. In some cases, treatment is required. Our programs aim to inform at-risk populations about these conditions and their associated risks while improving access to screening, diagnosis and referrals for appropriate treatment, monitoring and community support.
We implement Type 2 diabetes screening and treatment programs in India and Lesotho as well as a gestational diabetes screening and treatment among pregnant women in Nicaragua.
Our diabetes programs aim to inform at-risk populations about the associated risks of diabetes while improving access to screening, diagnosis and referrals for appropriate treatment and community support. Programs focus on:
Gestational diabetes: PSI currently supports testing, diagnosis and management of diabetes in pregnancy in Nicaragua through our Red Segura network. This program provides information and resources to women and their families on prevention and management of diabetes in pregnancy, tailored information on diet, exercise, and provider referrals to effectively manage the condition.
Type 2 diabetes: Our network members offer screening and management programs for Type 2 diabetes in Asia and sub-Saharan Africa.
- Non-Communicable Disease Life Course Pocket Cards
At the 61st session of the UN"s Commission on the Status of Women, PSI and its partners on the Women and NCDs Task Force promoted a set of pocket cards illustrating a woman's risk for non-communicable diseases over the course of her lifetime.
- Insights and Lessons from the Pan American Social Marketing Organization’s (PASMO) Gestational Diabetes Project
Diabetes in pregnancy is a neglected maternal health issue throughout Central America. PASMO is working with private sector health providers across multiple hospitals and satellite clinics in Managua, Nicaragua to offer prenatal clients access to testing, diagnosis and management for hyperglycaemia in pregnancy as part of a broader package of maternal health services.
- National White Paper: Synergizing Efforts in Diabetes Care at the Tertiary Level
Every year, roughly 5.8 million Indians die from heart and lung diseases, stroke, cancer and diabetes. In other words, 1 in 4 Indians risks dying from an non-communicable disease (NCD) before they reach the age of 70. In line with WHO’s Global action plan for the prevention and control of NCDs 2013-2020, India is the first country to develop specific national targets and indicators aimed at reducing the number of global premature deaths from NCDs by 25% by 2025.
- HIV, NCDs and Women
This brief outlines the key points around the issue of HIV, NCDs and women, and looks into opportunities for learning and integration across HIV and NCD programs. It also discusses what needs to happen next in the fight to eradicate the HIV and NCDs epidemics.
- PSI/PASMO Gestational Diabetes Mellitus Program
With support from Novo Nordisk and the World Diabetes Federation, PSI’s local network member in Latin America, the Pan American Social Marketing Organization (PASMO), is working through several Red Segura social franchises in Managua, Nicaragua to offer prenatal clients access to screening, diagnosis and treatment for gestational diabetes mellitus (GDM). Read more about the program.