Diabetes as Global Health Problem

Paper Info
Page count 10
Word count 2780
Read time 10 min
Topic Health
Type Research Paper
Language 🇺🇸 US


Diabetes is a global problem that requires international prevention and mitigation measures in order for the condition to be well controlled. While there are three types of diabetes, T2D is the one that can be prevented since the other two depend on genetics or are related to pregnancy. It is also the most common type of diabetes that affects people worldwide. Diabetes is an issue that impacts the world population on many different levels. Multiple patients are prone to having heart, kidney, and eye problems. Keeping the disease under control is an economic burden. It has been highlighted that the budget spent annually on this condition is more than $820 billion (World Health Organization [WHO], 2016). The mortality rate linked to diabetes keeps increasing, which is another global phenomenon that illustrates the seriousness of the problem.

Diabetes is a common issue that affects a large population. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC, 2021) statistics, more than half a billion people worldwide live with diabetes, from which the majority are individuals from low or middle-income countries. The mortality rate is relatively high, and it keeps increasing. An example is the year 2019 when over 1.5 million people died from diabetes-related issues (World Health Organisation [WHO], 2021). The World Health Organization also noticed a 5% increase in the rate of individuals with this condition between 2000 and 2016 (WHO, 2021). This is an alarming situation that needs to be addressed. Specific forces have the potential to escalate the issue even further. The implications correlate with the income of a particular region, urbanization, switch from agriculture to manufacturing, etc.

Efforts such as frequent screening, health checks, and providing medications for individuals with this condition are implemented all over the world. However, the level of medical care that addresses diabetes is highly dependent on the country’s economic potential. Multiple measures are done to prevent diabetes altogether. These include promoting a healthy diet, exercise, and avoiding stress, which is crucial in combating risk factors such as obesity. Public and community health nurses can help individuals and entire nations in terms of combating and mitigating diabetes-related problems. While community health nurses can provide individual help and suggest a necessary plan for certain people, public health nurses can implement entire policies and guidelines that would impact a large number of patients and prevent or control diabetes on a large scale.

Ethical considerations have to be highlighted when addressing the issues. Those include giving specific guidelines instead of general advice that would make people confused or distant from the problem. The other ethical case illustrates that good-quality care is primarily absent in low-income parts of the world, creating an economic inequality towards people who cannot afford proper treatment. While every individual has the right to access care and medications, specific external aspects do not always make this an easy task.

Additional measures of preventing and addressing the condition can be implemented for quicker and more substantial results. One would be promoting healthy behavior from childhood, which could be possible if international organizations focused on different programs in schools. Teaching young adults about the danger of an unhealthy lifestyle can positively impact the rate of adults with diabetes. The economic issue that affects low-income regions can be combated by lowering the price for insulin or creating international donation systems to subsidize the medication for populations that can not afford it. Healthcare providers have to start paying more attention to diabetes-related symptoms. Instead of providing information and medicine only, they can run more tests regarding kidney and heart functions, eye checks, and other physical examinations that would help assess the individual with diabetes. These additional implications would benefit global health, lead to a decrease in the mortality rate, and prevent the condition from taking over the population by informing people about its danger and ways to address it.

Global Health Paper. Diabetes

Diabetes is a global problem that affects multiple people and communities worldwide. This metabolic disorder is connected to high blood sugar levels, which do not decrease for a long period of time. While there are three types of diabetes, T2D is the most common, and most of the population suffers from this particular condition. T2D is present in people worldwide, which is why doctors and researchers all around the globe are eager to mitigate the issue by implementing preventive measures and treatments that would control the disease. There are certain factors that may increase the risk of being prone to this disorder. However, specific actions can minimize the effects, control the symptoms, or prevent the disease.

Impact Upon the World

There are three main types of diabetes. While types 1 and 3 depend on genetic predisposition and pregnancy, type 2 diabetes is more manageable and preventable. However, the majority of the population suffers from this specific disease because it correlates with lifestyle choices. Its impact upon the world manifests through multiple patients with significant issues such as heart problems, blindness, and nerve damage. Diabetes is also considered the major kidney failure cause worldwide. According to the World Health Organization, the annual global budget that is spent on patients with diabetes is more than $820 billion (WHO, 2016). The global diabetes epidemic affects every single country but is primarily an issue in middle and low-income communities and regions. Researchers usually highlight the correlation between urbanization and diabetes. Besides being a leading cause of significant health issues worldwide and having a relatively high mortality rate that keeps increasing every year, diabetes is an economic burden that impacts every region and nation (Williams et al., 2020). It is a global problem that needs to be addressed by healthcare providers, international organizations, and individuals who are susceptible to diabetes due to genetics, a sedentary lifestyle, or a nutritionally inadequate diet.


As mentioned before, diabetes is an issue that affects people all over the world. It has been reported that over half a billion individuals worldwide live with this condition, and over 80% of this number consists of people living in poor and middle-class regions (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention [CDC], 2021). World Health Organization stated that there had been a 5% increase in cases from 2000 to 2016 (WHO, 2021). It is an alarming number considering that the data is gathered from medical records all over the world. It has also been highlighted that more than 1,5 million people have died due to diabetes-related causes in 2019 (World Health Organization [WHO], 2021). This impact highlights the severity of the problem and its correlation with a high rate of mortality. In 2014, more than 8% of the adult population worldwide had this condition (World Health Organization [WHO], 2021). In contrast, the mortality rate decreases in other major illnesses such as cancer and cardiovascular diseases. Diabetes tends to remain stagnant in terms of individuals who die because of this issue. The alarming statistics illustrate that more effort and measures have to be implemented in order for the situation to be under control. While multiple experts and organizations are trying to combat this condition, the number of people affected by diabetes keeps rising, which is an alarming observation.

Forces That Escalate the Problem

There are certain aspects of diabetes that drive this condition to be prevalent in certain parts of the world and regions. One of the triggers that determine the severity of the problem is poverty. Over 80% or all cases worldwide are people from low and middle-income countries (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention [CDC], 2021). Due to westernization in the developing countries and the development of rural areas, the percentage increases every year. The cause is mainly obesity, which is a significant factor that is attributed to the diabetes epidemic. Since the rate of obesity is slowly becoming more substantial in poor regions, cases of diabetes are multiplying.

Another issue is urbanization, which is also considered to be one of the leading causes of diabetes in multiple areas. Due to urbanization, rural regions where people used to rely on agriculture which subsequently increased the level of physical activity and quality food, became reliant and manufacturing. This is why people became less active and stopped growing their own food, which led to an increase in body mass. Since obesity is a primary trigger for diabetes, a sedentary lifestyle and nutritional changes directly impacted the population’s general health. High BMI is not the only issue that correlates with diabetes. It has also been observed that countries that started consuming more saturated fat, meat, and sugar are prone to having more cases of diabetes. The observations highlight the forces that drive the condition to become more and more common, which are poverty, lack of proper nutrition, urbanization, and sedentary lifestyles.

Addressing the Problem

Countries all over the world are trying to address the problem on many different levels. The first step is screening the patients by testing their blood and measuring their glucose levels. Such facilities are available worldwide, although certain regions do not have direct access to testing systems. Another way of addressing the problem is frequent health checks and monitoring of individuals with this condition. Healthcare specialists often observe the progression of diabetes and control it using various methods. This is, however, another aspect that is not always possible in certain remote or low-income regions of the world because of the lack of medical personnel and resources. Physicians who deal with patients suffering from such conditions tend to go further and not limit the tests by solely checking glucose levels. The practices also include examinations of the eyes, tests regarding kidney and heart functions, and more diabetes-related problems that usually occur. Medication for controlling blood glucose (insulin) is often free of charge, and every person can access it through medical facilities. This, however, is a significant problem in low-income regions that cannot access such medication, which causes further complications for the general population.


The percentage of individuals with diabetes and diabetes-related deaths is increasing every year. This is why international organizations and national institutions apply measures that can help prevent the condition. The main level of prevention that is being executed is the primary one because it involves addressing the health of the population rather than improving it or addressing treatment and recovery. Primary prevention is illustrated in many different ways. The major one is openly talking about diabetes as a preventable disease (type 2) and informing the population about measures to combat or minimize the risks. An example is the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, an organization that has a prevention program that informs the population and provides guidance on having a healthy diet, staying active, and reducing stress (CDC, 2020). Such measures are proven to help diminish the risks of diabetes. The majority of governments all over the world also apply such strategies. The critical prevention measures always include promoting healthy eating habits, exercise, and low stress as three of the main factors. Obesity and inadequate nutrition are the primary concerns for populations that want to minimize the risk of diabetes, which is why promoting such self-harming behaviors would benefit global health.


Public and community health nurses promote preventative measures and protect the overall health of the population in regards to many conditions, including diabetes. Public health nurses focus on systems, policies, and strategies rather than individual intervention for people. This includes advocating for a healthy lifestyle and regular medical checks, developing policies that would help minimize diabetes-related issues. The goal of PHN is to improve the general condition of diabetes among patients, which is possible through providing reliable information, advocacy, and planning ways of combating the problem.

On the other hand, community health nurses are focused on improving the health of particular people or groups that are proven to develop diabetes or already suffer from this condition. The work includes developing plans and strategies for certain people within a community. The role of community health nurses in combating or preventing diabetes consists of providing valuable information and guidance to particular individuals, families, or groups. For example, a nurse that is in charge of students at a specific school may positively influence all the pupils at the institution by promoting an active lifestyle and an adequate amount of physical activity.

Ethical Considerations

Ethical considerations have to be examined before implementing preventative and combative measures concerning diabetes. The first moral issue is inequity, which is concluded by reviewing the situation in low-income countries. Regions that have all the necessary resources, healthcare providers, and means to control the condition successfully are more efficient and have lower mortality rates. On the other hand, communities that struggle in terms of economy and quality healthcare can not successfully combat the negative implications of diabetes. A study done by Shayo et al. (2020) highlights the problem of lack of insulin in Sub-Saharan Africa. It suggests that a current ethical issue is that diabetes is efficiently managed based on the region’s monetary potential, which causes an unfair cause-effect system that leads to a higher mortality rate in communities with low incomes.

Providing quality information regarding diabetes would also benefit from specific ethical implications. Multiple physicians and organizations tend to generalize the measures of preventing and combating type 2 diabetes while making the information public. Individuals with sedentary lifestyles and inadequate diets may be reluctant to follow the advice that suggests behavioral changes. An ethical consideration would be explaining why such measures are necessary rather than just pointing them out. Instead of offering weight loss, a comprehensive explanation of the benefits of healthy food and physical activities can be much more effective.

Intervention Proposal

Healthcare providers are interested in minimizing the problem and implementing strategies and policies that would benefit the cause of combating diabetes. Lack of quick and urgent actions may lead to a substantial increase in global diabetes cases by 2030 (Saeedi et al., 2019). However, more interventional measures can be implemented to further decrease the rate of patients with diabetes. In terms of global impact, the best way to deal with the problem is to avoid it altogether. A possible solution is creating international programs that would promote healthy diets and exercise in schools. It is vital to have such preventative measures in low-income communities and regions since the problem is most prevalent there.

A significant issue that needs to be addressed is the economic aspect of medications. As mentioned before, the mortality rate is much higher in regions where the population and the government have no monetary means to provide adequate treatment. Since insulin needs to be administered frequently, the costs are substantial. This imposes an aim for considering lowering the cost of life-saving medication or subsidizing it through national budgets or international donation systems. This would ensure a fair distribution of insulin in low-income areas and an adequate treatment plan for individuals who cannot afford such measures.

However, medication is not the only thing required for people with diabetes in order for them to live a long, healthy, and comfortable life. Healthcare providers can minimize the risks of complications by following up with the patients and running tests related to complications associated with diabetes. More follow-up procedures have to be done on every institutional level to run tests related to kidney functions, eye checks, etc. The medical professional must ensure the patients follows the plan accordingly and do not put themselves in danger. Policies that would require a more in-depth examination will increase the overall health of the population.

Health Care organizations can reduce the rate of diabetes or complications related to this condition by developing and mobilizing human resources that could help mitigate the disease in the most affected areas. As mentioned before, low-income areas of the world are prone to having a high number of people with diabetes. Such regions are usually deprived of quality medical care, so it is essential for health care organizations to investigate these regions and organize frequent campaigns. Equipped medical professionals would gather and help the communities with treatment plans, prevention measures, and other valuable tools that can help.

The suggested measures are effective because they touch upon the core of the problem, which is prevention that focuses on communities most prone to having this condition. The effort to mitigate diabetes on levels that are considered most elevated will ensure a decrease in the rate of diabetes-related symptoms and the overall mortality rate. Starting an effective program is going to be most successful if the initial efforts are going to address poor-income areas with the highest percentage of people with this condition. This will be a start for creating world-changing policies and strategies that would have a global impact in terms of preventing and controlling diabetes.


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NerdyBro. (2022, November 18). Diabetes as Global Health Problem. Retrieved from https://nerdybro.com/diabetes-as-global-health-problem/


NerdyBro. (2022, November 18). Diabetes as Global Health Problem. https://nerdybro.com/diabetes-as-global-health-problem/

Work Cited

"Diabetes as Global Health Problem." NerdyBro, 18 Nov. 2022, nerdybro.com/diabetes-as-global-health-problem/.


NerdyBro. (2022) 'Diabetes as Global Health Problem'. 18 November.


NerdyBro. 2022. "Diabetes as Global Health Problem." November 18, 2022. https://nerdybro.com/diabetes-as-global-health-problem/.

1. NerdyBro. "Diabetes as Global Health Problem." November 18, 2022. https://nerdybro.com/diabetes-as-global-health-problem/.


NerdyBro. "Diabetes as Global Health Problem." November 18, 2022. https://nerdybro.com/diabetes-as-global-health-problem/.


NerdyBro. 2022. "Diabetes as Global Health Problem." November 18, 2022. https://nerdybro.com/diabetes-as-global-health-problem/.

1. NerdyBro. "Diabetes as Global Health Problem." November 18, 2022. https://nerdybro.com/diabetes-as-global-health-problem/.


NerdyBro. "Diabetes as Global Health Problem." November 18, 2022. https://nerdybro.com/diabetes-as-global-health-problem/.