Uganda will next week join the global Diabetes community to commemorate World Diabetes Day that falls on 14th November of every year mainly to raise awareness about diabetes and its dangers.
This year, the day will be marked under the theme “Eyes on Diabetes” to emphasize the fact that we must focus on Diabetes as its prevalence is increasing at unprecedented levels and therefore screening of diabetes and its complications must be emphasized.
World Health Organization (WHO) estimates that Non Communicable diseases (NCDs) are responsible for 63% of deaths worldwide and 80% of these deaths occur in low and middle income countries such as Uganda.
Globally, 415 million people were estimated to be leaving with diabetes in 2015 and this number is expected to increase to 640 million by 2040.
In Uganda, the national NCDs study estimates the prevalence of diabetes at 1.3%. This translates to over 500,000 Ugandans living with diabetes. Unfortunately about 80% of Ugandans living with Diabetes are not aware that they have it. These will present later with difficult to manage complications including blindness, kidney failure, stroke and even impotence.
‘The ministry of Health is undertaking a number of interventions to reduce the prevalence of NCD’s in our communities. These strategies are important in improving lives of people with diabetes and will also raise the awareness of the disease.’ Hon. Aceng, the minister of Health.
The minister revealed that in honour of the day, the Ministry of Health and partners have organized a number of events to commemorate the day; These are; Free Diabetes screening and education in Jinja Hospital and all Health Centre IVs in Jinja District from Monday 14 November to Friday 18 November, 2016.
The ministry is also organizing a Health workers’ education conference that will be held on Friday 11 November at Jinja Hospital. A Patients’ symposium will also be held on 12 November at Jinja Hospital where patients will discuss their issues guided by their doctors.
Avoid harmful use of alcohol and tobacco
Eat healthy foods such as fruits, vegetables and foods rich in fiber
Reduce the intake of salts and sugars in foods and beverages
Go for regular exercises
Go for regular screening and checkups to detect the diseases early before complications set in