Saturday, 14 November is World Diabetes Day. This Day is the primary global awareness campaign of the diabetes world and is held on November 14 each year. It was introduced in 1991 by the International Diabetes Federation and the World Health Organisation in response to the alarming rise of diabetes around the world.
In responding to the scourge of Diabetes and calling for citizens to take part during the World Diabetes Day, the North West Department of Health MEC, Dr Magome Masike is urging members of the community to visit health facilities for free blood sugar tests. A blood sugar test measures the amount of glucose in one’s blood.
“It is important that people begin to take control of their own health and that begins with taking a free blood sugar test. It also means making healthy lifestyle choices such as eating vegetables and fruits as often as possible; being physically active for 30 minutes a day, at least five times a week; not smoking; not abusing alcohol; not using tobacco products and reducing salt and sugar intake”, says MEC Masike.
Diabetes mellitus which is known as diabetes is a chronic condition in which high blood sugar levels are present over a prolonged period of time due to insufficient insulin release and/or insulin resistance.
MEC Masike also urged members of community to be aware of symptoms of high blood sugar such as frequent urination as well as increased thirst, erectile dysfunction, blurred vision and burning feet.
“Take action today because your life is at risk. If left untreated, diabetes can cause many complications such as blindness, stroke, heart disease, kidney failure and even limb amputations”, urged MEC Masike
Diabetes is a chronic disease with long-lasting condition that can be managed but may not be cured. Chronic illness affects the population worldwide. Data from the World Health Organisation show that chronic disease is also the major cause of premature death around the world even in places where infectious disease are rampant. Although chronic diseases are among the most common and costly health problems, they are also among the most preventable and most can be effectively controlled.
In 2002, the World Health Report about reducing risks and promoting healthy life, indicates that the mortality, morbidity and disability attributed to the major chronic diseases currently account for almost 60% of all deaths and 43% of the global burden of disease.
By 2020 their contribution is expected to rise to 73% of all deaths and 60% of the global burden of disease. Moreover, 79% of the deaths attributed to these diseases occur in the developing countries. Four of the most prominent chronic diseases – cardiovascular diseases (CVD), cancer, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and type 2 diabetes – are linked by common and preventable biological risk factors, notably high blood pressure, high blood cholesterol and overweight, and by related major behavioural risk factors: unhealthy diet, physical inactivity and tobacco use. Action to prevent these major chronic diseases should focus on controlling these and other key risk factors in a well-integrated manner.
“Our first hand experience of the impact of chronic diseases like diabetes is the influx of people in our clinics. We have many people on chronic medication and this has led to long queues in our facilities. While we are doing something to end long queues by starting to deliver chronic medication to homes of patients, people need to adopt healthy lifestyle and help us prevent chronic diseases like diabetes”, concluded MEC Masike
SOURCE: SOUTH AFRICAN OFFICIAL NEWS