The World Health Organisation (WHO) says many people in the African region still lack access to tests, medicines and devices for the management of diabetes.
WHO Regional Director for Africa, Matshidiso Moeti stated this Sunday in her statement to mark this year’s World Diabetes Day.
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She said: “The theme this year, and until 2023, is ‘Access to Diabetes Care’ because too many people still do not have access to diagnostics, medicines and monitoring devices that can help with diabetes management.”
She said this year also marked the centenary of the discovery of insulin in 1921, a scientific achievement which changed the lives of people living with diabetes.
She, however, said premature death among people with diabetes was still high in many African countries because of late diagnosis and lack of access to insulin.
“Even when patients are diagnosed, insulin stock-outs in public health facilities and the costs of insulin, result in individuals not getting the treatment they need.”
Moeti said more than 19 million people lived with diabetes in Africa and that the number was expected to grow to 47 million by 2025.
She called on governments to invest in making essential products like insulin, blood glucometers and test strips available to all communities.