News / Health

    Diabetics in Senegal Struggle to Manage Disease

    FILE - Jonas Lukano, 60, who has diabetes, is watched over by his sister at the state general hospital in Congo's capital of Kinshasa.
    FILE - Jonas Lukano, 60, who has diabetes, is watched over by his sister at the state general hospital in Congo's capital of Kinshasa.
    Jennifer Lazuta
    The number of people with diabetes in sub-Saharan Africa is expected to double over the next 20 years. The region currently has the highest mortality rate due to diabetes, as proper diagnosis and treatment remain a problem.

    The International Diabetes Federation [IDF] says an estimated 371 million people currently live with diabetes, a chronic disease in which the body can’t properly regulate blood sugar levels.

    CLICK TO EXPAND: Diabetes in Africa, 2011- 2030CLICK TO EXPAND: Diabetes in Africa, 2011- 2030
    x
    CLICK TO EXPAND: Diabetes in Africa, 2011- 2030
    CLICK TO EXPAND: Diabetes in Africa, 2011- 2030
    The World Health Organization [WHO] says that this number is on the rise, particularly in developing countries, where there have been rapid increases in body weight and physical inactivity in recent years - a leading cause of type-2 diabetes.

    Dr. Maimouna Ndour Mbaye, an internal medicine specialist at the Marc Sankale National Diabetes Center in Dakar, Senegal, said, “Diabetes has become a big problem in Senegal. Its prevalence is really increasing and is likely to get even higher. Some cases are hereditary, but most of the increase is because of unhealthy lifestyles. Here in Senegal, the food is too rich in fat and sugar. People are also becoming more sedentary. We eat poorly and we sit, and we are getting diabetes.”

    There are no exact figures on how many people have diabetes in Senegal, but the IDF estimates that there were more than 160,000 cases in 2012.

    The IDF says this figure likely is even higher, as nearly 80 percent of diabetes cases go undiagnosed in Africa.

    Fifty-four-year-old Regina Hazoumé was diagnosed with type-2 diabetes more than 20 years ago. She said she currently is able to manage her diabetes, but that others are not so lucky.

    She said, “Having diabetes in Senegal can be difficult. We want to do what the doctors say, but people just don’t have the means to live healthy lifestyles. Rice is the staple of each meal here. Bread, too. But diabetics can’t eat those things. And we don’t have the money to afford vegetables or meat, so it’s very difficult.”

    If left untreated, diabetes can lead to blindness, kidney failure, the amputation of limbs and even death.

    The WHO says that more than 80 percent of diabetes-related deaths occur in low- and middle-income countries, such as Senegal, where people don’t have access to quality health care or the means to afford treatment.

    In Senegal, many diabetics say that they are fortunate because the government subsidizes the cost of insulin - the most common medication used to regulate blood sugar levels - from $36 per treatment down to $3 per treatment.

    There are many additional costs, however, such as syringes, blood sugar tests, special foods, and other medical expenses that arise from complications related to diabetes, such as hypertension and circulation problems.

    For those patients who can’t or don’t want to take insulin shots three times a day, oral medications can cost upwards of $50 month.

    Doctor Mbaye said the availability of insulin also is a problem, particularly outside the capital. “Accessing insulin is a huge problem in many African countries. There is a distribution of diabetes medicine here in Senegal, but it often doesn’t reach certain places,” she says. “There is also the problem of proper storage in villages. Insulin needs to be refrigerated."

    Mbaye said because diabetes treatment can be difficult and expensive, prevention is key to reducing the burden of the disease.

    She said that while type-1 diabetes is hereditary and cannot be prevented, eating a healthy, well-balanced diet and getting regular exercise can reduce a person’s chance of developing type-2 diabetes, and can even eliminate the need for daily insulin treatments.

    World Diabetes Day is commemorated each year on November 14 to raise awareness about the disease.

    The IDF warns that if nothing is done to stop the growing diabetes epidemic, as many as one in 10 people could suffer from the disease by 2030.

    You May Like

    Video How Aleppo Rebels Plan to Withstand Assad's Siege

    Rebels in Aleppo are laying plans to withstand a siege by Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s forces in likelihood the regime cuts a final main supply line running west of city

    Scientists Detect Gravitational Waves in Landmark Discovery

    Researchers likened discovery to difference between looking at piece of music on paper and then hearing it in real life

    Prince Ali: FIFA Politics Affected International Fixtures

    Some countries faced unfavorable treatment for not toeing political line inside soccer world body, Jordanian candidate to head FIFA says

    This forum has been closed.
    Comment Sorting
    Comments
         
    by: Anonymous
    November 15, 2013 6:18 AM
    It's good idea one to do his/her best, in order to avoid this silently killing deseas, by maintaining the body weight, together with the right dieting measures, and make exercise routinely. The other thing, that people must do, is to have close contact to the medical practioners, in order to follow their health status. Governments should also make any means possible, to save lives, whether it is giving the medicine freely, or increasing awareness about the diabetes, or increasing the number doctors plus special hospitals that deal with the diabetics and any arising compilications of it.

    by: Ismail Ahmed Gutale from: Kenya
    November 15, 2013 6:16 AM
    It's good idea one to do his/her best, in order to avoid this silently killing deseas, by maintaining the body weight, together with the right dieting measures and make exercise routinely. The other thing, that people must do, is to have close contact to the medical practionergs, in order to follow their health status. Governments should also make any means possible, to save lives, whether it is giving the medicine freely, or increasing awareness about the diabetes, or increasing the number doctors plus special hospitals that deal with the diabetics and any arising compilications of it.

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    NATO to Target Migrant Smugglersi
    X
    Jeff Custer
    February 11, 2016 4:35 PM
    NATO has announced plans to send warships to the Aegean Sea to target migrant smugglers in the alliance's most direct intervention so far since a wave of people began trying to reach European shores.
    Video

    Video NATO to Target Migrant Smugglers

    NATO has announced plans to send warships to the Aegean Sea to target migrant smugglers in the alliance's most direct intervention so far since a wave of people began trying to reach European shores.
    Video

    Video Russia's Catholics, Orthodox Hopeful on Historic Pope-Patriarch Meeting

    Russia's Catholic minority has welcomed an historic first meeting Friday in Cuba between the Pope and the Patriarch of Russia's dominant Orthodox Church. The Orthodox Church split with Rome in 1054 and analysts say politics, both church and state, have been driving the relationship in the centuries since. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Moscow.
    Video

    Video Used Books Get a New Life on the Streets of Lagos

    Used booksellers are importing books from abroad and selling them on the streets of Africa's largest city. What‘s popular with readers may surprise you. Chris Stein reports from Lagos.
    Video

    Video After NH Primaries All Eyes on South Carolina

    After Tuesday's primary in New Hampshire, US presidential candidates swiftly turned to the next election coming up in South Carolina. The so-called “first-in-the-South” poll may help further narrow down the field of candidates. Zlatica Hoke reports.
    Video

    Video US Co-ed Selective Service Plan Stirs Controversy

    Young women may soon be required to register with the U.S. Selective Service System, the U.S. government agency charged with implementing a draft in a national emergency. Top Army and Marine Corps commanders told the Senate Armed Services Committee recently that women should register, and a bill has been introduced in Congress requiring eligible women to sign up for the military draft. The issue is stirring some controversy, as VOA’s Bernard Shusman reports from New York.
    Video

    Video Lessons Learned From Ebola Might Help Fight Zika

    Now that the Ebola epidemic has ended in West Africa, Zika has the world's focus. And, as Carol Pearson reports, health experts and governments are applying some of the lessons learned during the Ebola crisis in Africa to fight the Zika virus in Latin America and the Caribbean.
    Video

    Video Smartphone Helps Grow Vegetables

    One day, you may be using your smartphone to grow your vegetables. A Taipei-based company has developed a farm cube — a small, enclosed ecosystem designed to grow plants indoors. The environment inside is automatically adjusted by the cube, but it can also be controlled through an app. VOA's Deborah Block has more on the gardening system.
    Video

    Video Illinois Voters Have Mixed Emotions on Obama’s Return to Springfield

    On the ninth anniversary of the launch of his quest for national office, President Barack Obama returned to Springfield, Illinois, to speak to the Illinois General Assembly, where he once served as state senator. His visit was met with mixed emotions by those with a front-row seat on his journey to the White House. VOA's Kane Farabaugh reports.
    Video

    Video Exhibit Turns da Vinci’s Drawings Into Real Objects

    In addition to being a successful artist, Renaissance genius Leonardo da Vinci designed many practical machines, some of which are still in use today, although in different forms. But a number of his projects were never realized — until today. VOA’s George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video Heated Immigration Debate Limits Britain’s Refugee Response

    Compared to many other European states, Britain has agreed to accept a relatively small number of Syrian refugees. Just over a thousand have arrived so far -- and some are being resettled in remote corners of the country. Henry Ridgwell reports on why Britain’s response has lagged behind its neighbors.
    Video

    Video Russia's Car Sales Shrink Overall, But Luxury and Economy Models See Growth

    Car sales in Russia dropped by more than a third in 2015 because of the country's economic woes. But, at the extreme ends of the car market, luxury vehicles and some economy brands are actually experiencing growth. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Moscow.
    Video

    Video Jordanian Theater Group Stages Anti-Terrorism Message

    The lure of the self-styled “Islamic State” has many parents worried about their children who may be susceptible to the organization’s online propaganda. Dozens of Muslim communities in the Middle East are fighting back -- giving young adults alternatives to violence. One group in Jordan is using dramatic expression a send a family message. Mideast Broadcasting Network correspondent Haider Al Abdali shared this report with VOA. It’s narrated by Bronwyn Benito
    Video

    Video Civil Rights Pioneer Remembers Struggle for Voting Rights

    February is Black History Month in the United States. The annual, month-long national observance pays tribute to important people and events that shaped the history of African Americans. VOA's Chris Simkins reports how one man fought against discrimination to help millions of blacks obtain the right to vote
    Video

    Video Helping the Blind 'See' Great Art

    There are 285 million blind and visually impaired people in the world who are unable to enjoy visual art at a museum. One New York photographer is trying to fix this situation by making tangible copies of the world’s masterpieces. VOA correspondent Victoria Kupchinetsky was there as visually impaired people got a feel for great art. Joy Wagner narrates her report.