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Rising numbers of diabetes worrisome

Rising numbers of Diabetes and other non-communicable diseases in Botswana worries the Ministry  of Health and Wellness.

Acting Minister of Health and Wellness, Mr Dikgang Makgalemele said this during the commemoration of World Diabetes Day, in Gaborone over the weekend.

He said diabetes and other non-communicable diseases were rising at a fast pace and they would soon surpass the communicable diseases as the most common cause of death and morbidity in years to come if no intervention was made.

“We are concerned with the rise in non-communicable diseases, more especially diabetes, high blood pressure and obesity,” he said.

In addition, he said “our national prevalence for diabetes for the year 2015 stands at 4.0 per cent and this places Botswana among the most affected countries by diabetes.”

Mr Makgalemele said for many years, most of the developing countries including Botswana, channeled most of their resources towards combating communicable diseases such as Turbercolosis, HIV/AIDS and Malaria.

However, he noted that in recent years it has become evident that new trend was emerging which is of non-communicable disease.

He said the latest statistics by the International Diabetes Federation estimated that there were 415 million people living with diabetes in the year 2015.

“This figure is projected to rise to 642 million in the year 2040 if no intervention is made,” said the acting minister.

Mr Makgalemele also indicated that the statistics estimated that 46.5 per cent of adults with diabetes were undiagnosed because of insidious nature of the disease.

He said about three quarters of people with Diabetes live in low income and middle incomes like Botswana, adding in 2015 alone, Diabetes caused 5.0 million deaths worldwide.

He mentioned that “this is very worrying indeed as even here in Botswana, we have not been spared the scourge of this disease.”

Meanwhile, Mr Makgalemele highlighted that his ministry has taken measures to educate members of the public on the importance of healthy living as a preventative strategy against Diabetes and other communicable diseases.

He further indicated that establishment of the Diabetes Centres of Excellence in Princess Marina Hospital, Block 6 Clinic in Gaborone and Donga Clinic in Francistown were adequately availed to manage the children and adults with Diabetes.

When delivering the message from the WHO regional director for Africa, Dr Churchill Onean who is the Patron of Diadetes Association of Botswana said the number of people living with Diabetes in the African region has increased from four million to 25 million in 2014, with the prevalence estimated to be 7.1 per cent compared to 3.1 per cent in the 1980s

He said the rise in the burden of Diabetes was due to factors such as aging, obesity, genetics and changing lifestyle.

Dr Onean said World Diabetes Day was an opportunity to increase awareness of Diabetes and ways to prevent it.

“This includes regular screening, early diagnosis and equitable access to medicines and technologies to manage Diabetes and its complications such as visual impairment and blindness,” he said.

Furthermore, Dr Onean urged people with Diabetes to adhere to the advice of health care providers and have their eyes checked for diabetic eye complications.

This year the theme for the commemoration of World Diabetes Day is "Eyes on Diabetes, which underscores the importance of screening to ensure early diagnosis and treatment of type two Diabetes to reduce serious complications, disabilities and death. BOPA

Source : BOPA

Author : Kelebogile Taolo

Location : Gaborone

Event : Commemoration of World Diabetes Day

Date : Nov 14 Mon,2016


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