ACN Shines A Light On World Diabetes Day
The Australian College of Nursing (ACN) recognises the importance of diabetes awareness and advocacy on World Diabetes Day (WDD) today. The theme for this year’s WDD is Women and Diabetes. This year’s campaign highlights the importance of affordable and equitable access for all women at risk for or living with diabetes to the essential diabetes medicines and technologies, self-management education and information they require to achieve optimal diabetes outcomes and strengthen their capacity to prevent type 2 diabetes.

There are currently over 199 million women living with diabetes and this figure is expected to increase to 313 million by 2040. Diabetes is the ninth leading cause of death in women globally, causing 2.1 million deaths each year. Approximately one in seven births is affected by gestational diabetes (GDM), which is a significant threat to maternal and child health. Many women with GDM experience pregnancy related complications including high blood pressure, large birth weight babies and obstructed labour.

“Diabetes is a chronic disease that has pronounced effects for girls and women, particularly in male dominated societies where gender discrimination is more profound. Girls and women can be discouraged from seeking diagnosis and treatment because of stigmatisation and discrimination,” explained Adjunct Professor Kylie Ward FACN, CEO of ACN.

“ACN, on behalf of its members, strongly advocates for gender equality and access to affordable health care. Recently ACN met with senior Fijian nurses from the Fiji College of Nurses to share knowledge and skills. This is part of ACN’s commitment to enhance nurse leadership within the Asia-Pacific region by working with countries in our region to promote and continue developing the nursing profession. Nurses are already working hard in Fiji and in many other Pacific countries in addressing very high rates of non-communicable diseases,” said Adjunct Professor Ward.

“ACN will continue to advocate for the need to address socio-economic inequalities that expose women to the main risk factors of diabetes, including poor diet and nutrition, physical inactivity, tobacco consumption and harmful use of alcohol,” said Adjunct Professor Ward.

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