More funds needed to combat diabetes

Source: More funds needed to combat diabetes | The Herald

More funds needed to combat diabetes

Bulawayo Bureau

ZIMBABWE marked World Diabetes Day on Saturday with calls for more funding into the non-communicable disease which affects about 1,4 million people in the country.

Diabetes is a prevalent chronic disease in Zimbabwe that occurs either when the pancreas does not produce enough insulin or when the body cannot effectively use insulin.

According to the World Health Organisation, diabetes is a major cause of blindness, kidney failure, heart attacks, stroke and lower limb amputation.

Locally, the Ministry of Health and Child Care said with the prevalence of diabetes, there are increased complications like kidney failure, blindness and amputations with an increased mortality.

The Ministry also estimates that 10 in every 100 people have diabetes and diabetes statistics represent over 100 000 visits or consultations at outpatients departments per year.

This is despite the fact that diabetic patients are struggling to access drugs such as metformin, glibenclamide and insulin injections and the treatment is costly, running into hundreds of dollars per month.

Blood sugar-testing equipment, used at most public hospitals is obsolete while that in private clinics is expensive.

But besides more funds, there are proposals to make better use of the resources that are available.

In a statement, Doctors Without Borders media liaison, Ms Caroline Gwature, said the organisation had partnered with the Ministry of Health and Child Care to craft a non-communicable disease nurse-led model which will see nurses being able to diagnose and manage diabetes.