DOHA,Feb.18 — An expert report looking at the prevalence of type 2 diabetes around the world, released Tuesday highlighted the rising rates of the disease and the “staggering” associated health and economic impacts.

The report, “Rising to the Challenge”, was published at the World Innovation Summit for Health in Doha,calls for policymakers to address the serious, urgent and universal diabetes challenge.

It highlights that an estimated 10 per cent of the world’s adult population – nearly 600 million people – will suffer with the condition by 2035.

The report reveals that type 2 diabetes currently affects about 350 million people worldwide,while the cost of direct healthcare for diabetes and its complications was around 11 percent of total healthcare costs worldwide in 2014, that is equivalent to $612 billion, greater than the entire GDP of countries such as Nigeria or Sweden.

Experts argue that diabetes currently lacks the public or political priority that it should have and proposes three clinical goals for policymakers; improve disease management for people with diabetes to reduce complication rates; establish effective surveillance to identify and support those at risk of type 2 diabetes; and deliver a range of interventions to help create an environment focused on prevention.

The report pulls together practical examples of initiatives that have been effective at combating diabetes prevalence around the world and concludes by outlining clear steps for addressing the diabetes challenge.

Professor Stephen Colagiuri, Professor of Metabolic Health at the University of Sydney, Australia, who led the team that published the report, said: “This report aims to equip policymakers around the world with tools to stem the tide of diabetes. Doing nothing is not an option, so it is vital that we share and learn from best practice examples from around the world and put interventions in place.

“The World Innovation Summit for Health has been a great platform for health leaders and policymakers to share ideas and expertise and I am confident that many of these initiatives will be taken forward.”