WHO/Europe seeks to improve control and reduce the complications of diabetes, while also working to reduce the risk factors that contribute to development of this and other priority noncommunicable diseases. As success in these efforts depends on equitable access to quality treatment and opportunities to lead a healthy life in the European Region, WHO/Europe also works with Member States to strengthen their health systems and tackle the wider determinants of health. A selection of activities is presented below.
- Initiated by the International Diabetes Federation (IDF) and WHO,World Diabetes Day on 14 November raises global awareness of diabetes – its escalating rates and risk factors. 2011 marks the third year of the five-year focus on “Diabetes education and prevention”. 2011’s WDD campaign slogan was ‘Act on Diabetes. Now’. It was used to maintain momentum just a few weeks after the United Nations High Level Meeting on NCDs.
- In line with the Action Plan to implement the 2000 Global Strategy for the Prevention and Control of Noncommunicable Diseases, WHO conducted a global survey to measure the capacity of individual countries to respond to the prevention and control of NCDs. Successful completion of this survey in the European Region led to publication in 2010 of a preliminary report on selected survey results.
- The Action Plan for implementation of the European Strategy for the Prevention and Control of Noncommunicable Diseases 2012–2016 reveals the determinants of NCDs, their impact on society and the priority interventions that can make a real difference. It was endorsed at Regional Committee in Baku, Azerbaijan, 12-15 September 2011 by the 53 European Member States.
- WHO/Europe supports activities at country and international level to implement the WHO European Action Plan for Food and Nutrition Policy 2007-2012. For this purpose, action networks have been set up consisting of groups of countries that have taken the lead in addressing particular challenges, such as reducing salt intake and reducing marketing pressure on children. The action network on obesity and health inequalities was established in March 2010. Led by Portugal, the group of nine countries works together to find ways to address inequalities and socioeconomic gaps in relation to nutrition, food security and physical activity.
- A WHO/European Commission project monitored progress from 2008 to 2010 in improving nutrition and physical activity and preventing obesity in the European Union. Each of the 27 Member States of the European Union appointed a national information focal point to assist WHO in implementing the project. This collated information is available through various workshop reports, the WHO European Database on Nutrition, Obesity and Physical Activity (NOPA Database) and the November 2010 report Current Implementation status of the Strategy for Europe on Nutrition, Overweight and Obesity related health issues.
- WHO/Europe also hosts the European network for the promotion of health-enhancing physical activity (HEPA Europe), which works towards physical activity promotion in health policy and in other relevant sectors in Europe.