By Gugulethu Nyazema
HARARE – Close to half of Zimbabwe’s population suffers from diabetes. According to the Zimbabwe Diabetes Association (ZDA), the figures have forced authorities to train 350 health professionals to work as diabetes health educators countrywide.
ZDA’s executive chairperson Ngoni Chigwana said there was need for extensive public awareness programmes on diabetes. “Our aim is to have at least three nurses at all health institutions to be trained as diabetes health educators. New trends in the treatment of diabetes need to be highlighted to doctors as well,” he said.
According to health experts diabetes develops when one’s body fails to produce enough insulin or when the body cannot effectively use the insulin it produces. Without insulin, the body cannot extract energy from food. Chigwana said diabetes has been on the increase since 2005 when it affected only 10 percent of the population.
“People with family members with diabetes should have their sugar levels checked because diabetes is hereditary. And those that are physically inactive are at 80 percent risk of suffering from this non-communicable disease,” said Chigwana.
“There are people out there moving around with diabetes and they do not even know it. Screening programmes have been put in place to ensure that many people are tested and made aware of their condition,” said Chingwana. Daily News
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