Diabetes Stats in Africa
There has been a significant increase in the number of people in Africa with Type 2 diabetes in recent years. This is because of various factors. Factors include changes in lifestyle, urbanization, the rising consumption of processed foods, obesity. Statistics say 19 million people in Africa are diagnosed with diabetes. Out of those 19 million adults, 95% are suffering from type 2 diabetes which is expected to rise to 47 million by 2045, if not controlled. This has a significant impact on regional morbidity, mortality, and prices.
Impact of Diabetes on Health
Diabetes will result in mortality as well as major problems such as damage to the intestines, blood vessels, eyes, kidneys, and nerves. Heart attacks, strokes, blindness, nephrosis, and lower limb amputation are all possible consequences. In addition to this, many people with type 2 diabetes will struggle to obtain health and life insurance. When applying for life insurance for diabetes type 2, if having poor control of your conditions will lead to a decline or higher premiums.
Matt Schmidt of Diabetes 365 notes “Diabetes has been linked to an increased risk of infectious diseases like respiratory disease and tuberculosis. It has also been shown that people with diabetes who are infected with SARS-CoV-2 are more likely to develop severe COVID-19, require longer hospital stays, have a greater need for ventilation, and have a higher risk of dying from COVID-19.”
Diabetes has a greater influence on health loss in Africa than in any other place in the globe. However, the risk factors of developing diabetes can be changed.
Measures to Control Diabetes in Africa
The African Union's (AU) Health Strategy (AHS 2016-2030) is a policy framework aimed at strengthening continental healthcare systems and health policy commitments as healthcare instruments. These objectives are in line with Agenda 2063 of the African Union and the Sustainable Development Goals of the United Nations (SDGs). As a result, the AHS 2016–2030 aims for an Africa that is fully connected, inclusive, and wealthy, with no diseases, impairments, or premature death among its people.
The African High-Level Panel on Innovation and Emerging Technology (APET) is pushing African countries to use medical management technologies to improve diabetic health care to reduce the disease's impact. Medical management technology makes a variety of healthcare options more accessible and convenient, reducing the need for frequent hospital visits.
Time To Act
- To live a healthy life, diabetic individuals must monitor their glucose levels regularly. This entails checking and monitoring their glucose levels with needles.
- Unfortunately, few diabetic people find this kind of observation painful, thus the stick-free aldohexose testing technique was created to help patients avoid needle maltreatment. This entails implanting a small detector beneath the patient's epidermis, belly button, or underarm, which transmits glucose readings wirelessly to a pump and/or a smartphone.
- Along with this, diabetic patients will next confirm their eating habits, exercise routines, and endocrine dose concentration.
- Medical reminder apps for cellphones have also been created to remind diabetic patients about their medication schedules. For example, Dosecast, My Meds, Mango Health, etc.
- The use of electronic health records (EHR) to manage diabetes through a patient-centered records management system is also gaining popularity. Authorized users and healthcare providers will be able to access the patient's health data immediately and securely through the EHR.
However, companies face various challenges when introducing these technologies and apps in the African market. For example, most of these apps run in the English language and they don’t have the African language installed. Where people in Africa don’t have food to eat, they are being asked to buy expensive smartphones and watches. However, these challenges must be addressed for a healthy society.