World Diabetes Day is an annual event observed on 14 November, to raise awareness of diabetes as a global public health issue and what needs to be done, collectively and individually, for better prevention, diagnosis and management of the condition.
The day was proposed by the International Diabetes Federation in 1991 with support from the World Health Organisation and became an official United Nations Day in 2006.
Diabetes is a rampant health issue that continues to take a toll on people across the globe. It is a chronic disease that occurs when the pancreas is no longer able to make insulin, or when the body cannot make good use of the insulin it produces. Mismanagement of diabetes can lead to serious consequences, causing damage to a wide range of the body’s organs and tissues — including the heart, kidneys, eyes and nerves.
The burden of diabetes in Cameroon is not only high but is also rising rapidly. The prevalence of diabetes in adults in urban areas is currently estimated at 6 – 8%, with as much as 80% of people living with diabetes who are currently undiagnosed in the population.
Findings from the Global Burden of Disease (GBD) 2016 study revealed that diabetes mellitus accounted for over 132,000 disability adjusted life years (DALY) and about 4000 deaths in Cameroon. These demonstrate that the burden of diabetes on the society is enormous in terms of morbidity and mortality, and by extension, a significant impact on the economy and healthcare systems.
This year’s World Diabetes Day is commemorated under the theme, “access to diabetes education”, which underpins the larger multi- year theme “access to care”.
Having the right education and at the right time can reduce the risk factors and minimize the chances to develop complications of diabetes and thus reduce morbidity and mortality in diabetics. It is also important to stay physically active, lose extra weight, eat healthy diets, drink water instead of beverages that may be high in sugar as well as eat small portions of food at a time. It is worth noting that, early detection is key in diabetes because early treatment can prevent damage to the heart, kidneys, eyes, nerves, and other vital organs.
If you need more information about the disease or need help managing diabetes, we are here for you. Visit our website www.klarah.com.
We are proud to join the world to raise awareness on this chronic disease, that so plagues our nation, Cameroon, and the world at large.