13.6 million people diagnosed with diabetes in Africa

The International Diabetes Federation-Africa has disclosed staggering statistics regarding the prevalence of diabetes on the African continent.

According to the group’s latest findings, there are approximately 13.5 million people who have been diagnosed with diabetes in Africa, but the real cause for concern is the revelation that an additional 36 million individuals are at risk of developing diabetes in the region.

The Federation has underlined that, apart from Asia, Africa is projected to bear the heaviest burden of diabetes by 2030.

This is primarily due to the fact that many Africans may be unknowingly living with the disease, as there is limited access to diabetes care, making it a significant challenge across the continent.

During the launch of this year’s World Diabetes Day celebrations in Accra, Mr Elizabeth Esi Denyoh, President-elect of the federation, highlighted the importance of this global awareness day.

She emphasised that the World Health Organisation (WHO) has dedicated this day to raising awareness about diabetes, given its alarming worldwide spread.

Ms Denyoh stressed the necessity of such awareness campaigns, as diabetes continues to surge across the globe, posing a significant public health concern.

The theme for this year’s World Diabetes Day is ‘Access To Diabetes Care: Drawing attention to the urgent need for improved access to diabetes prevention and management in Africa’.

Below is the Africa Diabetes Federation’s full statement:

The world is in the midst of massive wars and conflicts as far as diabetes and its co-morbid conditions are concerned. According to the latest Diabetes Atlas brought out by the International Diabetes Federation, there are about 425 million people with diabetes, and this is slated to increase significantly in the near future.

But the problems do not end just with the numbers affected.

Almost half the people who have diabetes are not diagnosed.

In some parts of the world, almost two thirds of the people who have diabetes are not aware of this. Moreover, even amongst the people who know they have diabetes, the vast majority of them are not in optimal control.

It is no wonder that today diabetes is the leading cause of blindness; the leading cause of lower limb amputations after traumatic incidents; one in three people undergoing dialysis or renal transplants have diabetes as its root cause and diabetes along with its co-morbid conditions, is a major factor in the increasing numbers seen of people with cardiovascular disease.

It has been estimated that a person with diabetes could have a shortened life span brought about by diabetes and its associated

In 2011 when the International Diabetes Federation came out with its previous version of the Atlas, it had a lot of data but one aspect which stood out was that one person in the world died because of diabetes and its complications every seven seconds.

In 2015, the International Diabetes Federation Atlas showed that a person died every six seconds. So obviously things were just not getting better, in spite of more knowledge, newer medications and a number of Guidelines.

So what is the way forward which would be of benefit for our people with diabetes?

We have to take into account the ground realities of diabetes care in many regions of the world.

It has been estimated that the vast majority of our people are seen and only seen by Primary Care Physicians and General Physicians (Internists).

If we are stem the ongoing wars, these are the people who have to be the “front line” in our war against diabetes. We have to empower them to wage the war against diabetes and EDUCATION is EMPOWERMENT.

Mr Chairman, I have great pleasure to be part of this event because there is a well-known and strong linkage between health, productivity, economic growth and national development.

Diabetes we all understand is a life threatening condition that is caused by the body’s inability to utilize sugar, leading to a build-up of sugar in the blood.

It is a chronic condition which can result in cardiovascular disease, kidney failure, damage of limb (amputations), stroke, impotence and eye disease that lead to blindness.

Diabetes is said to be one of the rising killer diseases globally, claiming one life every eight seconds and a limb lost at every 30 seconds, according to reports from WHO and the International Diabetes Federation (IDF).

As of 2013, 382 million people have diabetes worldwide.

Type 2 Diabetes makes up about 90% of the cases.

This is equal to 8.3% of the adult population with equal rates in both women and men.

In 2014, the International Diabetes Federation (IDF) estimated that diabetes resulted in 4.9 million deaths, making it the 8th leading cause of death. Diabetes mellitus occurs throughout the world, but is more common (especially type 2) in more developed countries.

The greatest increase in rates was expected to occur in Asia and Africa, where most people with diabetes will probably live in 2030.

The increase in rates in developing countries follows the trend of urbanization and lifestyle changes, including a “Western-style” diet.

The African continent counts approximately 13.6 million people with diabetes.

The Africa Region of IDF, which mainly includes sub-Saharan Africa, counts approximately 7 million people with diabetes. Estimates for the region for 2025 are likely to double and reach 15 million.

Whereas Nigeria has the highest number of people with diabetes

(With approximately 1,218,000 people affected), Uganda has the highest diabetes prevalence in the African Region (13.1%).

Nigeria also has the highest number of people with impaired glucose tolerance with an estimated 3,85 million people.

At the same time, we have to understand that many of these medical personnel care about giving good management to their people with diabetes but they are not interested in becoming “experts” in diabetes care.

It is time for us to come out of our ivory towers of academia and look at the ground realities which are faced by the medical personnel as well as our people with diabetes.

When speaking to many of the PCPs and internists, they ask for simple recommendations in the management of diabetes, its complications and co-morbidities.

This is the aim of this initiative and that is to come up with simple clinical practice recommendations which can be used by them in their day to day practice in their clinic settings.

A dollar spent in preventing Diabetes today will yield a dividend of 20 dollars in five years by preventing

Producing healthy youth
Stop absenteeism
MR chairman on the world scorecard for Diabetes control worldwide Ghana scored 14%

For the past 2 years all efforts to get government subsidy for the Association have failed and we are at this juncture calling for urgent intervention as we do not see any seriousness on the part of the Government.

WE WANT TO STATE CATEGORICALLY TODAY THAT FROM 2011, NO DIABETES ASSOCIATION WORLDWIDE IS AN NGO, Because of its seriousness the global Associations were all placed under the various Ministries Of Health

The Diabetes Association will like to Partner MOH to train Health Personnel in Diabetes Education which was started in Bibiani.

Including fruits in the school feeding programe

Encourage daily exercises in school
We need and urgent subsidy for Diabetic product as most good ones are not subsidized by NHIS as such there is rise in complications.

The Diabetes Association through its education modules is ready to roll out a diabetes Education in all districts in MOH,

Ghana does have any regulation or guidelines for managing diabetes in Ghana,

Thank you

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