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

China May Be Biggest Winner From Ukraine Crisis

Missile sales, oil and gas shipments are among many areas that may drive Beijing and Moscow closer together in coming years More

Obama Faces a Chaotic World and the Limits of Power

Current foreign policy issues bring into focus challenges for US policymakers who are mindful of Americans' waning appetite for overseas military engagements More

SADC Meeting Lesotho Officials to Resolve Stalemate

Official says regional bloc has been engaged with leaders in Lesotho to resolve political disagreement that led to coup attempt More

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.
West Africa Ebola Vaccine Trials Possible by Early 2015i
X
Carol Pearson
August 30, 2014 7:14 PM
A U.S. health agency is speeding up clinical trials of a possible vaccine against the deadly Ebola virus that so far has killed more than 1,500 people in West Africa. If successful, the next step would be a larger trial in countries where the outbreak is occurring. VOA's Carol Pearson has more.
Video

Video West Africa Ebola Vaccine Trials Possible by Early 2015

A U.S. health agency is speeding up clinical trials of a possible vaccine against the deadly Ebola virus that so far has killed more than 1,500 people in West Africa. If successful, the next step would be a larger trial in countries where the outbreak is occurring. VOA's Carol Pearson has more.
Video

Video Survivors Commemorate 70th Anniversary of Nazi Liquidation of Jewish Ghetto

When the German Nazi army occupied the Polish city of Lodz in 1939, it marked the beginning of a long nightmare for the Jewish community that once made up one third of the population. Roughly 200,000 people were forced into the Lodz Ghetto. Less than 7,000 survived. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, some survivors gathered at the Union League Club in Chicago on the 70th anniversary of the liquidation of the Lodz Ghetto to remember those who suffered at the hands of the Nazi regime.
Video

Video Cost to Raise Child in US Continues to Rise

The cost of raising a child in the United States continues to rise. In its latest annual report, the U.S. Department of Agriculture says middle income families with a child born in 2013 can expect to spend more than $240,000 before that child turns 18. And sending that child to college more than doubles that amount. VOA’s Deborah Block visited with a couple with one child in Alexandria, Virginia, to learn if the report reflects their lifestyle.
Video

Video Chaotic Afghan Vote Recount Threatens Nation’s Future

Afghanistan’s troubled presidential election continues to be rocked by turmoil as an audit of the ballots drags on. The U.N. says the recount will not be completed before September 10. Observers say repeated disputes and delays are threatening the orderly transfer of power and could have dangerous consequences. VOA correspondent Meredith Buel reports.
Video

Video Ukraine Battles Pro-Russia Rebel Assault

After NATO concluded an emergency meeting to discuss the crisis in eastern Ukraine, the country is struggling to contain heavy fighting near the strategic port of Mariupol, on the Azov Sea. Separatist rebels are trying to capture the city, allegedly with Russian military help, and Ukraine's defense forces are digging in. VOA's Daniel Schearf spoke with analysts about what lies ahead for Ukraine.
Video

Video Growing Business Offers Paint with a Twist of Wine

Two New Orleans area women started a small business seven years ago with one thing in mind: to help their neighbors relieve the stress of coping with a hurricane's aftermath. Today their business, which pairs painting and a little bit of wine, has become one of the fastest growing franchises across the U.S. VOA’s June Soh met the entrepreneurs at their newest franchise location in the Washington suburbs.
Video

Video Ebola Vaccine Trials To Begin Next Week

The National Institutes of Health says it is launching early stage trials of a vaccine to prevent the Ebola virus, which has infected or killed thousands of people across West Africa. The World Health Organization says Ebola could infect more than 20,000 people across the region by the time the outbreak is over. The epidemic has health experts and governments scrambling to prevent more people from becoming infected. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video Asian Bacteria Threatens Florida Orange Trees

Florida's citrus fruit industry is facing a serious threat from a bacteria carried by the Asian insect called psyllid. The widespread infestation again highlights the danger of transferring non-native species to American soil. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Aging Will Reduce Economic Growth Worldwide in Coming Decades

The world is getting older, fast. And as more people retire each year, fewer working-age people will be there to replace them. Bond rating agency Moody’s says that will lead to a decline in household savings; reducing global investments - which in turn, will lead to slower economic growth around the world. But experts say it’s not too late to mitigate the economic impact of the world’s aging populations. Mil Arcega has more.
Video

Video Is West Doing Enough to Tackle Islamic State?

U.S. President Barack Obama has ruled out sending ground troops to Iraq to fight militants of the so-called Islamic State, or ISIS, despite officials in Washington describing the extremist group as the biggest threat the United States has faced in years. Henry Ridgwell reports from London on the growing uncertainty over whether the West’s response to ISIS will be enough to defeat the terrorist threat.
Video

Video Coalition to Fight Islamic State Could Reward Assad

The United States along with European and Mideast allies are considering a broader assault against Islamic State fighters who have spread from Syria into Iraq and risk further destabilizing an already troubled region. But as VOA State Department Correspondent Scott Stearns reports, confronting those militants could end up helping the embattled Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.
Video

Video Made in America Socks Get Toehold in Online Fashion Market

Three young entrepreneurs are hoping to revolutionize the high-end sock industry by introducing all-American creations of their own. And they’re doing most of it the old-fashioned way. VOA’s Julie Taboh recently caught up with them to learn what goes into making their one-of-a-kind socks.
Video

Video Americans, Ex-Pats Send Relief Supplies to West Africa

Health organizations from around the world are sending supplies and specialists to the West African countries that are dealing with the worst Ebola outbreak in history. On a smaller scale, ordinary Americans and African expatriates living in the United States are doing the same. VOA's Carol Pearson reports.

AppleAndroid