According to an assessment by the World Health Organisation (WHO), the number of diabetics people in India rose 100% in 13 years from 32 million in 2000 to 63 million in 2013. It is estimated that this number could increase to 101.2 million in the next 15 years.
Public health agencies across the world have expressed concerns over diabetes as the disease can caused several ailments ranging from strokes to cardiovascular disease. Experts have also pointed out the increasing socio-economic costs due to the disease.
The states of Kerala, Tamil Nadu and Gujarat had the highest prevalence of diabetes in India. An approximate 8.2% of the adult male and 6.8% adult women population are diabetic in India.
According to Dr Poonam Khetrapal Singh, regional director, WHO South-East Asia, "Diabetes rarely makes headlines, and yet it will be the world's seventh largest killer by 2030 unless intense and focused efforts are made by governments, communities and individuals”, also adding that diabetes is of particular concern in South East Asia, where around 25% of the 3.7 million globally-reported diabetes-related deaths occurs.
The annual expenditure on diabetes treatment in India is estimated to be at Rs 1.5 lakh crore, 4.7 times the Centre's allocation of Rs 32,000 crore on health and three-fourth of the budgeted service tax collections this fiscal. This cost is projected to rise by 20-30% every year.
The WHO has also decided to dedicate this year's World Health Day on April 7 to the theme of diabetes.