The Bongi Ngema-Zuma (BNZ) Foundation joined hands with the Free State Health Department to commemorate World Diabetes Day on Saturday 12 November, at Turflaagte, in Bloemfontein.
BNZ Foundation is a non-profit organisation established in 2010, with the vision to “To see a South Africa where diabetes ceases to be a killer due to lack of awareness.”
Diabetes can lead to eye disease which can cause blindness if not caught early. Screening for diabetes complications is important to ensure optimal health.
This marks the seventh year since the foundation started commemorating this day.
The theme for the celebrations is “Eyes on diabetes”.
The Patron of the BNZ Foundation, Madam Bongi Ngema-Zuma shared the platform with the MEC of Health in the Free State, Butana Komphela and other government leaders.
The event began with a 5 kilometre fun walk led by MEC Komphela and Madam Bongi Ngema-Zuma, starting from Pelonomi Hospital to Freedom Square in Turflaagte, Bloemfontein.
This was a symbolic walk to highlight the importance of living a healthy and active lifestyle.
More than 2000 young and old people from communities in and around Mangaung participated in the event.
Many people live with Type 2 diabetes for a long period without being aware of their condition. Therefore screening for diabetes is an essential part of managing all types of diabetes.
This event seeks to promote diabetes awareness, the importance of screening to ensure early diagnosis and public education on the disease. Over and above diabetes, health care practitioners were onsite to do public screening for diseases such as, hypertension, TB, Cholesterol, HIV/Aids and others.
According to the International Diabetes Federation, diabetes is a huge and growing burden worldwide. About 415 million adults were living with diabetes in 2015 and this number is expected to increase to around 642 million or one in ten adults by 2040.
This will be achieved through reaching out to various communities and empowering South Africans to take control of their health, particularly diabetes.