Public health and health systems: implications for the prevention and management of type 2 diabetes in south Asia
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Many non-communicable chronic diseases, including type 2 diabetes, are highly prevalent, costly, and largely preventable. The prevention and management of type 2 diabetes in south Asia requires a combination of lifestyle changes and long-term health-care management. However, public health and health-care systems in south Asian countries face serious challenges, including the need to provide services to many people with inadequate resources, and substantial between-population and within-population inequalities. In this Series paper, we explore the importance and particular challenges of public health and health systems in south Asian countries (Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Nepal, Pakistan, and Sri Lanka) with respect to the provision of culturally appropriate lifestyle modification to prevent and manage diabetes, especially in resource-poor settings. Effective primary prevention strategies are urgently needed to counter risk factors and behaviours preconception, in utero, in infancy, and during childhood and adolescence. A concerted focus on education, training, and capacity building at the community level would ensure the more widespread use of non-physician care, including community health workers. Major investment from governments and other sources will be essential to achieve substantial improvements in the prevention and management of type 2 diabetes in the region.
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