Nurses takes to the streets on World Diabetes Day!

3,5 million people in South Africa are suffering from diabetes. However, this number is in reality much higher since it’s estimated that more then 50% of people are unaware they have the illness and have never been diagnosed. This is one of the major tasks that the HOPE Centre is tackling on a daily basis. To this end, on World Diabetes Day (14th November), the nurses will take to the streets in the fight against diabetes!

Diabetes – One of the most dangerous illnesses in South Africa

Around 60 people die every day from Diabetes in South Africa. This is according to Statistics South Africa. South Africa does not even feature in the list of top ten countries for Diabetes prevalence, yet the rate of people dying because of the illness on the continent is far higher than in the countries with higher prevalance. Many deaths and complications could be avoided if people went for screening and if people sought health care earlier. South Africa's high death rate is caused by lack of access to insulin and to medical professionals that are specialised in treating Diabetes. But also, numbers would come right down if people had a higher level of awareness and practiced healthier lifestyles

Project HOPE never stops screening
On Saturday the 14th of November the HOPE Centre staff along with Empilweni Nursing College, community leaders, volunteers from local organisations and Right to Care (an HIV Counseling & Testing Organization) will take to the streets once again to promote public awareness of diabetes and hypertension, educate patients, perform demonstrations and encourage all residents to test, prevent and manage this life-threatening illness.

Hard to recognise - serious complications
The majority of people in South Africa have type 2 diabetes, however many of these cases go undiagnosed as there are very few symptoms initially. Symptoms for diabetes include fatigue, excessive thirst and urination, slow wound healing and skin infections, blurred vision and regular bouts of thrush. As these symptoms can be very mild and develop gradually, many people fail to recognise them as warning signs of diabetes.

Diabetes complications are serious and include heart disease, stroke, blindness, amputations and kidney failure. In most cases these complications could have been avoided entirely by early diagnosis and proper treatment.

Related links:
International Diabetes Federation


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