News / Health

Many Africans with Diabetes Unaware of Illness

Jonas Lukano, 60, who is has diabetes, is watched over by his sister at the state general hospital in Congo's capital of Kinshasa. (file photo)Jonas Lukano, 60, who is has diabetes, is watched over by his sister at the state general hospital in Congo's capital of Kinshasa. (file photo)
x
Jonas Lukano, 60, who is has diabetes, is watched over by his sister at the state general hospital in Congo's capital of Kinshasa. (file photo)
Jonas Lukano, 60, who is has diabetes, is watched over by his sister at the state general hospital in Congo's capital of Kinshasa. (file photo)

Related Articles

A study published in the World Diabetes Atlas says that more than 80 percent of people living with diabetes in sub-Saharan Africa do not know that they suffer from the disease. Sub-Saharan Africa has more than 15 million of the 371 million people living with diabetes in the world.

The report states that diabetes is a global burden as the number of people living with the disease continues to rise. But it says the situation is worse in sub-Saharan Africa.

Dr. Palma Mesumbe of the Cameroon Diabetes Association said even in North Africa where many more people visit hospitals, half of the patients did not know that they had diabetes.

“It is clearly established today that the number of diabetics is increasing on the day. Half of the people who have diabetes do not know they have it. We are talking about 52.9 percent for instance in North Africa that do not know that they have diabetes,” said Dr. Mesumbe.

The World Diabetes Atlas study adds that the greatest number of people with diabetes are between the ages of 40 and 59. Another medic, Dayawa Akuns, said a lot more within the same age group may be living with diabetes without knowing it, since symptoms can only be noticed at chronic stages.

“At the moment when we have the signs and symptoms of diabetes, it is assumed that more than 50 percent of the cells that have the responsibility to produce insulin have been destroyed. Over time as these cells are being destroyed, we are not going to see the symptoms because it has not reached a particular threshold to trigger signs and symptoms,” said Akuns.

It is projected  that by 2031 the number of people living with the disease will increase to more than 552 million. Palma Mesumbe said that it would be a serious problem, especially in Africa which is socially and economically disadvantaged.

“It's going to be a problem in Africa where we are going to see a doubling in the prevalence of diabetes. We are at 4.3 percent and in 20 years that percentage is going to double, and the problem is how ready are we to handle that situation,” said Dr. Mesumbe.

To control the situation, the report says governments must reinforce diabetes awareness strategies and support associations fighting the disease.

You May Like

How to Safeguard Your Mobile Privacy

As the digital world becomes more mobile, so too do concerns about eroding privacy and increased hacking More

'Desert Dancer' Chronicles Iranian Underground Dance Troupe

Film by Richard Raymond is based on true story of Afshin Ghaffarian and his friends More

Obesity Poses Complex Problem

Professor warns of obesity’s worldwide health impact More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Rolling Thunder Run Reveals Changed Attitudes Towards Vietnam Wari
X
Katherine Gypson
May 25, 2015 1:32 AM
For many US war veterans, the Memorial Day holiday is an opportunity to look back at a divisive conflict in the nation’s history and to remember those who did not make it home.
Video

Video Rolling Thunder Run Reveals Changed Attitudes Towards Vietnam War

For many US war veterans, the Memorial Day holiday is an opportunity to look back at a divisive conflict in the nation’s history and to remember those who did not make it home.
Video

Video Female American Soldiers: Healing Through Filmmaking

According to the United States Defense Department, there are more than 200-thousand women serving in the U.S. Armed Forces.  Like their male counterparts, females have experiences that can be very traumatic.  VOA's Bernard Shusman tells us about a program that is helping some American women in the military heal through filmmaking.
Video

Video Iowa Family's Sacrifice Shaped US Military Service for Generations

Few places in America have experienced war like Waterloo. This small town in the Midwest state of Iowa became famous during World War II not for what it accomplished, but what it lost. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, the legacy of one family’s sacrifice is still a reminder today of the real cost of war for all families on the homefront.
Video

Video On Film: How Dance Defies Iran's Political Oppression

'Desert Dancer' by filmmaker Richard Raymond is based on the true story of a group of young Iranians, who form an underground dance troupe in the Islamic Republic of Iran. This is the latest in a genre of films that focus on dance as a form of freedom of expression against political oppression and social injustice. VOA’s Penelope Poulou has more.
Video

Video Turkey's Ruling Party Trying to Lure Voters in Opposition Stronghold

Turkey’s AK (Justice and Development) Party is seeking a fourth successive general election victory, with the goal of securing two-thirds of the seats in Parliament to rewrite the constitution and change the country's parliamentary system into a presidential one. To achieve that, the party will need to win seats in opposition strongholds like the western city of Izmir. Dorian Jones reports.
Video

Video Millions Flock to Ethiopia Polls

Millions of Ethiopians cast their votes Sunday in the first national election since the 2012 death of longtime leader Meles Zenawi. Mr. Meles' party, the Ethiopian People's Revolutionary Democratic Front, is almost certain of victory again. VOA's Anita Powell reports from Addis Ababa.
Video

Video Scientists Testing Space Propulsion by Light

Can the sun - the heart of our solar system - power a spacecraft to the edge of our solar system? The answer may come from a just-launched small satellite designed to test the efficiency of solar sail propulsion. Once deployed, its large sail will catch the so-called solar wind and slowly reach what scientists hope to be substantial speed. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video FIFA Trains Somali Referees

As stability returns to the once lawless nation of Somalia, the world football governing body, FIFA, is helping to rebuild the country’s sport sector by training referees as well as its young footballers. Abdulaziz Billow has more from Mogadishu.
Video

Video With US Child Obesity Rates on the Rise, Program Promotes Health Eating

In its fifth year, FoodCorps puts more than 180 young Americans into 500 schools across the United States, where they focus on teaching students about nutrition, engaging them with hands-on activities, and improving their access to healthy foods whether in the cafeteria or the greater community. Aru Pande has more.
Video

Video Virginia Neighborhood Draws People to Nostalgic Main Street

In the U.S., people used to grow up in small towns with a main street lined by family-owned shops and restaurants. Today, however, many main streets are worn down and empty because shoppers have been lured away by shopping malls. But in the Del Ray neighborhood of Alexandria, Virginia, main street is thriving. VOA’s Deborah Block reports it has a nostalgic feel with its small restaurants and unique stores.

VOA Blogs