International Type 2 prevention drive suggested by Covid-19 review

An international drive to highlight the importance of the prevention and adequate management of diabetes has been proposed by a team of the world’s leading experts on diabetes, following a review of diabetes care following the Covid-19 pandemic. The team has also advised how countries should deal with the backlog of care for people with type 1 and type 2 diabetes created by lockdowns and the restrictions to health services caused by the coronavirus.

The experts, drawn from Europe, North American, Latin America, Africa and Asia, made the recommendations based on evidence and experiences of the impact of the pandemic on diabetes services, and on people with type 1 and type 2 diabetes.

The researchers found that for people with diabetes, recurrent lockdowns and public health measures throughout the pandemic restricted access to routine diabetes care, limited new diagnoses, and affected self-management and access to medications, compromising glycaemic control.

The team’s recommendations on how best to prepare for any future pandemic or natural crisis include ensuring that achieving universal health coverage assumes even greater priority. They also called for renewed efforts to implement the UN High Level Declaration on Prevention and Control of Non-Communicable Diseases, taking measures that will reduce poverty, empower those in need of care, and create a health-enabling environment that promotes a healthy diet and physical activity.

The team also recommended that the international community should recognise that manufacturers of harmful products, including notably energy dense foods and sugar-sweetened beverages, are a large part of the problem, and should introduce comprehensive regulations that tackle the drivers of consumption, price, availability and marketing.

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