Diabetes Mellitus control

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Diabetes is a medical condition in which the person has high blood glucose (or blood sugar) either because of insufficient insulin production or because the body cells do not respond properly to insulin or both.

Diabetes is serious due to its complications, namely: cardiovascular ailments, cerebral vascular accidents, renal insufficiency, blindness, sexual impotence and gangrene of the feet leading to amputation. Diabetes and associated chronic conditions are rapidly emerging as major health problems. It remains one of the leading causes of death worldwide.

It is estimated that 347 million people globally have diabetes. In Sub-Saharan Africa, it is estimated that 8 percent of the population above 25 years have diabetes. 

Sadly, most people with diabetes in Africa are unaware of their condition and therefore do not seek treatment and care. Untreated, uncontrolled or poorly managed diabetes leads to serious complications such as heart attacks, kidney failure, stroke, lower limb amputations, visual impairment and blindness. 

The growing problem of diabetes in the region is largely related to overweight and obesity, due to reduction in physical activity and adoption of unhealthy diets which are high in calories from fats and sugars, high in salt, and low in vegetables and fruits. 

Prevention of diabetes or delay in the onset of diabetes and the development and progression of its complications can be achieved through healthy diets, regular physical activity, maintaining a normal body weight, avoiding tobacco use and monitoring blood-sugar levels.

Coordination of efforts on diabetes across the African region by supporting the development of comprehensive national non communicable diseases plans including diabetes and collaboration amongst all stakeholders in order to build on existing accomplishments and avoid duplication of efforts is critical.

For more information contact:
Dr. Steven Shongwe
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