Women and girls are key agents to combat diabetes in the Pacific

14th of November marks the annual World Diabetes Day, this year’s theme being “Women and Diabetes”. World Diabetes Day 2017 not only recognizes that women are just as likely to develop diabetes as males, but also that women and girls are a key in efforts to combat the disease.

In the Pacific, non-communicable diseases (NCD’s), including diabetes, are on the rise. Currently NCD’s are the leading cause of death in the region and as such the leaders in the Pacific have committed to addressing the NCD crisis and governments and communities are taking action.

Women with diabetes have more difficulty conceiving and may have poor pregnancy outcomes. Gestational diabetes (GDM), affects approximately one in seven births and increases the long term risk of a woman developing diabetes.

World Diabetes Day 2017 calls for women and girls to be better recognized in the battle against diabetes. In the future, not only must the needs of women be taken into account when developing services for NCDs, but also women and girls should be recognized in having significant influence over the rest of the family in adopting healthy lifestyle to improve the health and wellbeing of future generations.