On World Health Day 2016, Czech Republic focuses on diabetes and prevention


During the World Health Day campaign in the Czech Republic, the WHO Country Office presented the 2016 slogan "Be active – Eat healthy – Follow medical advice – Beat diabetes". The slogan illustrates the key areas where the country should focus political efforts to decrease the risk of diabetes among the population.

An example of recent political action in the Czech Republic is the adoption of the action plan on nutrition, including the plan on obesity prevention, and the action plan on physical activity in 2015, within the national strategy for Health 2020.

Type 2 diabetes can be prevented

The national profile of the Czech Republic, published within the framework of the first ever "Global report on diabetes", shows that the prevalence of diabetes among the male population has grown from 6.5% in 1984 to 8.7% in 2014. This means that almost 10% of Czech citizens have diabetes, and that diabetes causes 2% of all deaths in the country. Data show that about 90% of people with diabetes have problems with obesity and an unhealthy life style. Nevertheless, estimates indicate that many cases of type 2 diabetes could be prevented.

To mark World Health Day, the WHO Country Office in the Czech Republic held a press conference in Prague on 6 April 2016, in cooperation with the Czech Medical Association of J.E.Purkyně and the Czech Diabetes Society. During the press conference, preeminent medical experts presented the diabetes situation and possibilities for prevention of this serious problem. WHO posters on diabetes were displayed during the press conference and distributed online.

2 people living with diabetes shared their stories with the media. One focused on the improvement of his health due to healthy lifestyle changes; the second shared a story about the educational programme on diabetes launched by the 3rd Medical Department of the 1st Faculty of Medicine, Charles University and General Faculty Hospital in Prague, in cooperation with the Institute of Sports Medicine.

Activities around the country

The WHO Country Office usually cooperates with representatives of the International Federation of Medical Students Associations (IFMSA) in organizing World Health Day activities across 5 cities in the Czech Republic (Brno, Hradec Králové, Olomouc, Plzeň, Prague). From 7 to 10 April 2016, medical students from IFMSA provided voluntary tests to measure blood glucose levels, blood pressure and body fat percentage.

Based on the figures from all cities, the organizers estimate that over 5500 people participated actively and were educated by medical students while over 10 000 people participated passively during the project.

Additionally, regional and local hospitals across the country organized many projects during World Health Day. The campaign also received significant media coverage.