A recent WHO update on diabetes surveillance

Dr Bente Mikkelsen, the WHO Director of Noncommunicable Diseases (NCDs), was recently interviewed in EURACTIV discussing diabetes data. The full interview is here.

Her approach confirms the decision taken by the Diabetes Alliance to have Diabetes Surveillance as the theme for 2022.

What about registries for diabetes? This is being discussed a lot and countries seem to have a different take on this. 

Data is important and we need data to take action. What we are looking at, in general, is facility-based data and data included in the health information system. At the moment, we have very scattered data.

I think we will, in the coming years, discuss this more intensively as we develop tools for collecting facility-based data for all diseases, but also linked to the global diabetes targets that we have suggested for the WHO member states to discuss this year.

So what should a diabetes register look like?

This is something we need to come back to. The format should accommodate various settings. And I look forward to having this discussion with our Global Technical Advisory Group on diabetes that will give advice to WHO.

But I would like to say that without data, it’s very difficult to build accountability and also to help ensure that diabetes is diagnosed, treated and controlled.

Our vision is to reduce the risk of diabetes, and also to ensure that all people who are diagnosed with diabetes have access to equitable, comprehensive, affordable and quality management. And to reach this target, we need to measure, we cannot only guess.

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