Letter: National diabetes strategy would support Canadians, save money

Writer urges voters to support lobbying effort to have federal government take action

Canada needs a national strategy to stop the diabetes epidemic.

Canada is among the worst of developed countries in terms of our prevalence and cost of treating diabetes, a costly disease both to individuals and families, and to our health-care system.

In British Columbia, an estimated 1.5 million people live with diabetes or prediabetes. In 2019, diabetes will cost the B.C.’s health-care system an estimated $509 million, 80 per cent of which is spent on treating its complications, including heart attack, stroke, kidney failure, blindness and amputation. Everyday someone with diabetes has a lower limb amputation as a result of diabetes.

What many people don’t know about diabetes is that if individuals living with the disease are able to maintain their blood sugar levels within a target range, these costly complications may be avoided.

Read more: Olympic rower’s school visit helps lift stigma around diabetes

Read more: Doctor wants B.C. to join rest of Canada and fund a set of diabetes drugs

Read more: Friends & Neighbours: Walking in Waikiki for kids with diabetes

People living with type 1 and type 2 diabetes are all at risk of serious and costly complications, but the two types of diabetes are quite different. Type 1 diabetes is an autoimmune disease, with the cause or trigger still unknown. For someone with type 1 diabetes, insulin is a life-sustaining therapy. Type 2 is a disease with a number of risk factors, including age, weight, family history, lifestyle (diet and exercise) and many other factors, including poverty and access to healthy food. Despite the growing prevalence of this complex and potentially disabling disease, there is no established national strategy to co-ordinate effort between the provinces and territories, or to share the best practices or measure results.

It is time the federal government invest in a strategy that brings all governments together to end the diabetes epidemic in Canada. A nationwide diabetes strategy would actually generate a return on the federal government’s investment. Diabetes Canada estimates that a $150 million investment will result in $18 billion in savings from prevention alone, 245,000 fewer hospitalizations for diabetes and 35,000 fewer lower limb amputations. Diabetes Canada is asking all parties running in the upcoming federal election to support diabetes 360, a nation-wide diabetes strategy. Diabetes affects us all. Go to diabetes.ca to sign the petition.

Nel Peach


@SalmonArm
newsroom@saobserver.net

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Comments are closed

Just Posted

Two rescued from tipped sailboat near Casa Loma

The two men were quickly brought to shore by a marine rescue crew

New cherry packing facility to open near Ellison Lake this weekend

Despite a lacklustre cherry crop this year, Jealous Fruits is opening its new state-of-the-art packing facility

Petition calling for Kelowna Mountie to be fired, charged nears 350K signatures

Const. Lacey Browning was caught on camera dragging a UBCO student down a hall during a wellness check

PHOTOS: Looking back at Central Okanagan Canada Day celebrations of years past

While there may not be many festivities to look forward to for Canada Day 2020, previous celebrations have been a real treat

Long-range transportation planning around Central Okanagan offers challenges

Work from home has upended traditional traffic patterns

North Okanagan man gives back for Canada Day

Food packages given away to those living on the streets in Vernon

Dog rescued from rocky ledge in Summerland

Penticton Search and Rescue members perform high angle rescue

PHOTOS: Dual rallies take over Legislature lawn on Canada Day

Resist Canada 153 highlighted colonization and genocide, Unify the People called COVID a hoax

Gov. General honours Canadians for bravery, volunteer service

Five categories of winners presented on Canada Day

COVID-19: Should non-medical masks be mandatory in Canada?

New poll shows Canadians are divided on the rules around mandatory masks

Okanagan mine makes way for industrial project

Council holds a special meeting to rezone property

In photos and video: Colourful Canada Day parade rolls through Sicamous

Patriotic procession allows community to celebrate together while maintaining distance

Okanagan arsonist sentenced to 3 years probation

Arsonist must pay $500 to each party affected, no access to drugs, alcohol or fire starters

Northbound lane of Coquihalla closed after vehicle incident near Hope

A northbound lane is closed just north of the Great Bear Snowshed, according to DriveBC

Most Read