There is a compelling reason that global awareness days and months exist. In the case of diabetes, the reason is twofold: stemming a worldwide epidemic and saving lives.
According to the International Diabetes Federation, 50% of people with diabetes are not even aware they have the disease.
Port Alfred Lions will be supporting this very important awareness campaign by offering free diabetes screening at Rosehill Mall on November 14 and, if you missed that, at Heritage Mall on November 21.
The projected increase of people in the African Region who will have diabetes will rise by 143% by 2045. Four in every five people (80%) with type 2 diabetes in Africa have no access to much-needed insulin while two-thirds of low-income countries have the highest proportion of undiagnosed cases.
Globally, the figured for diabetes in 2019 were 463 million people between the ages of 20 and 70. It is estimated that fully 50% of all cases were undiagnosed. Also, 10% of global health expenditure was spent on adults due to diabetes. A total of 374 million people were at risk of developing type 2 diabetes. Finally, 4.2 million deaths were reported from diabetes.
Type 1 diabetes has no known cause or cure.
Combating type 2 diabetes, which is often caused by a bad diet and lack of exercise, requires education and behaviour modification programmes. Should this remain untreated, diabetes can lead to blindness, nerve damage, kidney failure, heart attack, stroke and more.