Diabetes Affects 25 Million Africans – WHO Representative Reveals
Monrovia – The World Health Organization has expressed fear over the rapid increase of diabetes in Africa, emphasizing the need for a proper control mechanism to be put in place in curtailing the prevalence of the disease.
WHO Representative to Liberia, Dr. Alex Gasasira revealed that 25 Million Africans are currently suffering from diabetes, with 50 percent of the continents’ population between the ages 15 and above who die from non-communicable diseases, calling for a proper control to be put in place.
“The number of people suffering from diabetes is increasing at an alarming rate. In 1980, it was estimated that just about a 100 Million people around the world were suffering from diabetes. By 2014, it was estimated that this number has risen up to over 400 Million. “
“In Africa, the number of people suffering from diabetes is estimated to be about 25 Million”, said Dr. Gasasira, stressing that there is no special estimate for Liberians suffering from the disease.
However, he named Cancer, Diabetes and Heart complications as diseases 15% Africans are suffering from, attributing Diabetes as a growing health problem that needs serious attention in Africa and Liberia at large.
Dr. Gasasira named the lack of exercise, use of alcohol and tobacco and excessive eating as key factors that are contributing to increase in sickness, admonishing those affected by Diabetes to do regular checkups in suppressing the disease.
Speaking during the celebration of World Health Day in Liberia, he called for the reduction in the use of alcohol and tobacco, saying this can also cause failure in the body to control its high content of sugar, adding the need to control unhealthy lifestyle cannot be overemphasized.
“Someone who suffers from Diabetes has a very high level of sugar and once you have high level of sugar, this can lead to damage of key body parts including the kidney, heart, blood vessel and great complications”, Dr. Gasasira averred.
He noted that the World Health Organization is currently working with various countries across Africa in ensuring to highlight the issue of Diabetes as a result of alarming rate of increase in the disease.
Dr. Gasasira at the same time pledged WHO’s commitment to working with Liberia health system in supporting all policies that will reduce the risk factor of health and promoting a good healthy lifestyle.