Country spends only one per cent of global costs to fight it

Toronto: India leads the world in the number of people suffering from diabetes and by 2030, nearly 9 per cent of the country’s population is likely to be affected from the disease, the International Diabetic Federation (IDF) has warned.

About 50.8 million people are now suffering from the looming epidemic of diabetes, followed by China with 43.2 million.

According to a report released at the 20th annual World Diabetes Congress of IDF which opened on Monday in the Canadian city of Montreal, the U.S. has 26.8 million people suffering from the disease, while it is 9.6 million in Russia, 7.6 million in Brazil and 7.5 million in Germany.

Pakistan is the third Asian country with 7.1 million diabetic patients while Japan has 7.1 million and Indonesia has 7 million, according to the latest IDF data.

There are 285 million diabetes cases worldwide, accounting for seven per cent of the world’s population.

‘Development issue’

“Diabetes has become a development issue and it threatens the health and economic prosperity of people in low and middle-income countries,” the IDF report said.

It also predicted that diabetes would cost the world economy at least $376 billion in 2010, or 11.6 per cent of the total world health care expenditure.

“By 2030, this number is projected to exceed $490 billion. More than 80 per cent of spending on diabetes is in the world’s richest countries and not in the poorer countries, where over 70 per cent of people with diabetes now live,” it said.

According to the report, India currently spends $2.8 billion or one per cent of the global total expenditure.

‘Take serious action’

Addressing the congress, Martin Silink, outgoing president of the federation, said unless serious action was taken the epidemic of diabetes would increase from 7 million new cases a year in 2007 to 10 million new cases this year.

“The epidemic represents nothing short of a global health emergency,” said incoming IDF president Jean-Claude Mbanya. — PTI

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