Following is UN Secretary-General António Guterres’ message for World Diabetes Day, observed on 14 November:
Many efforts have been made to prevent and treat diabetes. Yet, the number of people with diabetes is going up. What’s more, it is rising most rapidly in low- and middle-income countries, the countries least well‑equipped with the diagnostics, medicines and knowledge to provide life‑saving treatment.
The COVID-19 pandemic has brought additional pain. Many people who require regular care and treatment for their diabetes have struggled to access that care. And people with diabetes are at increased risk of severe disease and death from COVID-19.
Next year, the World Health Organization (WHO) will launch the Global Diabetes Compact, a new initiative that will bring structure and coherence to our complementary efforts to reduce the burden of diabetes.
Let us work together to make sure that, through this ambitious and much‑needed collaboration, we will soon be talking about the decline in diabetes as a public health problem. And as we strive to overcome the pandemic, let us do our utmost to ensure universal health coverage, strengthen health systems and advance good health and resilience for all.