Diabetes is the second most common cause of death in South Africa after TB, according to the (2016) Statistics South Africa report on mortality and causes of death. Over 3.5 million South Africans suffer from diabetes, this is 6% of the population and 5 million more people are estimated to have pre-diabetes.
Former First Lady of South Africa Dr. Bongi Ngema-Zuma, Founder and Patron of the BNZ Foundation lead a 3.5 km walk in Kranskop KZN to raise awareness about the prevalent im-pact diabetes has in our communities. The Foundation partnered with the KwaZulu-Natal Department of Health and Umvoti Local Municipality which Kranskop falls under; Diabetes claims around 2,500 leg amputations a year in KZN. Approximately 900 people took part in different types of health screening
Dr Ngema-Zuma calls for all of us to examine our standing when it comes to diabetes through the #Screen4Diabetes campaign. It seeks to encourage people living with the disease and those who may not be aware of their status to constantly screen and to commit to a healthy lifestyle that involves good nutrition and exercise.
November is Diabetes Awareness Month and on World Diabetes Day 14 November; The International Diabetes Federation (IDF) 2019 theme remains “Family and Diabetes” with the key messages being:
- To raise awareness of the impact that diabetes has on the family and support network of those affected.
- To promote the role of the family in the management, care, prevention of the disease.
The majority of people living with diabetes in South Africa have Type 2 diabetes; where the body be-comes resistant to insulin, resulting in dangerously high blood sugar levels. Type 2 diabetes is often caused by lifestyle or genetic factors. Diabetes complications are serious and include heart disease, stroke, blindness, amputations and kidney failure. These complications can largely be avoided by early diagnosis and proper treatment.
Dr Bongi Ngema – Zuma called on the community of Kranskop KZN and its surrounding areas to join the 3.5km walk along with the MEC of Health in KZN Ms. Nomagugu Simelane-Zulu, Deputy Mayor of Kranskop Ms. NG Masikane, Amakhosi and NGO’s of the area from The Kranskop Municipality Offices; followed by an informative talk about the state of diabetes and the small steps we can all take as individuals and families to prevent and manage diabetes.