In most low-income and middle-income countries (LMICs), diabetes data are sporadically recorded, dispersed among fragmented platforms, and often not shared within national health information exchanges or patient-level health information systems, such as electronic health records and national disease surveillance systems. The absence of patient data where and when it is needed impedes comprehensive care and continuity. For example, a patient receiving care for tuberculosis might not be recognised as living with diabetes—a common comorbidity—resulting in poorer tuberculosis treatment outcomes and potentially life-threatening interruption of diabetes care. Interruptions to diabetes treatment led to increased acute events and even excess deaths in 2020 during the COVID-19 pandemic. Moreover, the scarcity of linked comorbidity data for patients with COVID-19 resulted in slow recognition of the additional vulnerability of people living with diabetes to the most severe COVID-19 outcomes.
National registries as a catalyst to development of diabetes care in low income and middle income countries