African Press International (API)

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Kenya steps up diabetes management

Posted by African Press International on November 10, 2012

By Thomas Ochieng, reporting from Kenya                                                                                      


As the world is set to mark the World Diabetes day on 14th November, the statistics around the diabetes condition are appalling to say the least. According to World Health Organization report it’s estimated that about 346 million people worldwide are diabetic, with 80% of them falling on the low-income and mid-income segments. Diabetes according to WHO falls in the category of Non-communicable diseases (NCDs), such as heart disease, stroke, cancer, chronic respiratory diseases and are the leading cause of mortality in the world. This invisible epidemic is an under-appreciated cause of poverty and hinders the economic development of many countries.


In Africa today, according to the WHO Regional Director for Africa Dr.Luis G.Sambo Changes in lifestyles of Africans have brought a change in the pattern of diseases in Africa. He deduces that until recently Africa was mostly affected by communicable diseases. Today, chronic diseases are becoming increasingly prevalent in all countries. This has created an epidemiological profile characterized by double burden of diseases, and many countries are unable to effectively deal with the current situation because of inadequate policies and resource constraints.


Kenya today is faced with a prevalence rate of 2.7% in the rural areas and 10.7% in urban areas according to the data collected by the Kenya Diabetes Information Center. The organization also attributes about 27% of deaths as a result of Non-Communicable Diseases to diabetes pandemic. To check this high prevalence rate of diabetes in Kenya the Government in partnership with the Kenya diabetes Information Center have come up with mitigation measures targeting both the diabetic patients, health providers and the public for a sensitization campaign to run throughout the country.


The sensitization campaign of diabetes as one of the Non-Communicable diseases in Kenya has in the recent past gained prominence in government’s health sector budgetary allocations. Diabetes has been a silent ailment for long time in the country and indeed many African countries whereby it was associated with taking of sugar, yet this is a myth, this grave concern is the driving force of the sensitization campaign to debunk some of these myths associated with such lifestyle diseases such as diabetes.




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