Leveraging digital applications for better access to diabetes care

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Diabetes
(Source: Halodoc)

Jakarta, IO – Diabetes is a chronic disease with the fastest increase in prevalence at this time. November 14 is celebrated as World Diabetes Day, with the aim of raising awareness of diabetes as a global public health issue, and what needs to be done for better prevention, diagnosis and management of diabetes. The main campaign for World Diabetes Day 2021-2023 is “Access to Diabetes Care” with the 2022 theme as “Education to Protect Tomorrow”. Data from the International Diabetes Federation (IDF) 2021 shows that 19.5 million Indonesians aged 20-79 years have been diagnosed with diabetes. This figure is expected to reach 28.6 million by 2045. 

Indonesia occupies the fifth position with the highest number of diabetes sufferers worldwide; what’s more, this country exhibits the highest proportion of yet undiagnosed diabetes, at 14.3 million citizens (73.7%). Based on Indonesia Basic Health Research (Riskesdas) data in 2013 and 2018, we see a trend for the prevalence of diabetes mellitus (DM) in Indonesia rising from 6.9% to 8.5%, the prevalence of DM diagnosed by doctors up from 1.2% to 2%. Further, most DM sufferers (about 3 out of 4) do not realize that they are afflicted, and such lack of awareness means they neglect periodic check-ups. 

Diabetes is defined as a chronic metabolic disease, caused by the body’s inability to produce the hormone insulin or exhibiting an impaired insulin function, characterized by elevated blood sugar levels. If not controlled in time, diabetes can cause serious damage to other organs, such as the heart, blood vessels, eyes, kidneys, and nerves. There are several types of diabetes, namely, type 1 diabetes, type 2 diabetes, and diabetes insipidus. Type 1 diabetes is generally associated with genetics and different body conditions from birth. Type 2 diabetes is the most common and best-known by the public. Type 2 diabetes can result from an unhealthy lifestyle and poor diet. Type 2 diabetes is also known as diabetes mellitus. Diabetes insipidus is an uncommon disorder that causes an imbalance of fluids in the body. This imbalance makes a person very thirsty even after drinking a lot, so the body produces large amounts of urine. 

Even though diabetes is related to genetics, if a person avoids the factors that cause diabetes, that person will likely avoid illness. Several factors that cause type 2 diabetes: excess body weight, genetics, unhealthy eating patterns (the need to avoid diabetes-causing eats, such as high-carbohydrate processed foods, foods high in saturated and trans fats, candied dried fruit, soft drinks and alcoholic beverages), excessive stress, lack of sleep, smoking and a distended stomach.