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WHO initiative to make insulin affordable

Date: 10 November 2019 Tags: Miscellaneous


The World Health Organisation (WHO) is launching an initiative to expand access to affordable insulin, ahead of the World Diabetes Day on November 14.



More than 420 million people worldwide, mostly in low- and middle-income countries, live with diabetes. WHO noted that many who require insulin do not have access, often due to high costs.



  • The global report on diabetes shows that essential medicines and technologies, including insulin, are generally available in only 1 in 3 of the poorest countries.

  • It has recommended that access to insulin should be treated as a matter of life or death and that improving access to medicines in general should be a priority.

  • According to the International Diabetes Federation Diabetes Atlas, China has the largest number of patients(11.43 cr.) followed by India (7.29 cr.) in 2017.

  • The factors responsible for increase in diabetes are unhealthy diet, lack of physical activity, harmful use of alcohol, over-weight/obesity, tobacco use etc.

  • The goverment is focused on creating awareness for behaviour and life-style changes, screening and early diagnosis of persons with high level of risk factors and their treatment and referral (if required) to higher facilities.



  • Diabetes is a disease that occurs when your blood glucose, also called blood sugar, is too high. Blood glucose is your main source of energy and comes from the food you eat.

  •  Insulin, a hormone made by the pancreas, helps glucose from food get into the cells to be used for energy.

  • Sometimes the body doesn’t make enough or any insulin or doesn’t use insulin well. Glucose then stays in the blood and doesn’t reach the cells.


Types  of Diabetes

Type 1 diabetes

In type 1 diabetes,  body does not make insulin. The immune system attacks and destroys the cells in the pancreas that make insulin.

Type 1 diabetes is usually diagnosed in children and young adults, although it can appear at any age. People with type 1 diabetes need to take insulin every day to stay alive.


Type 2 diabetes

In  type 2 diabetes,  body does not make or use insulin well. We can develop type 2 diabetes at any age, even during childhood. However, this type of diabetes occurs most often in middle-aged and older people. Type 2 is the most common type of diabetes.


Gestational diabetes

Gestational diabetes develops in some women when they are pregnant. Most of the time, this type of diabetes goes away after the baby is born.

 However, if you’ve had gestational diabetes, you have a greater chance of developing type 2 diabetes later in life. Sometimes diabetes diagnosed during pregnancy is actually type 2 diabetes.

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