In early October, Project HOPE’s South Africa country director and headquarters program officer for chronic disease, attended the high level African Diabetes Leadership Forum in Johannesburg, South Africa.
The meeting was hosted by leaders in global diabetes and brought
together academics, policy makers, government officials, researchers and
non-profit organizations to discuss the burgeoning situation of
diabetes on the continent of Africa.
Results from this forum will feed into the United Nations’ meeting on chronic disease, to be held in September 2011. As the numbers of people with diabetes grows and the impact of the disease takes its toll on individuals, families and country economies, this important area of health has come to the international forefront. Many African countries are facing a rising tide of diabetes as people move to urban areas. Across income levels, people are adopting new lifestyles with decreases in activity, consuming more convenience foods and lacking access to clean water and fresh foods.
The experts reported on the impact of diabetes on the health care systems, economic productivity, infectious disease like tuberculosis and HIV, and the alarming death rates due to complications such as heart disease, amputation and kidney disease. Everyone was in consensus that action must be taken and it must be taken quickly to stem the tide of this serious health care challenge.
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