Zim commemorates World Diabetes Day
Poor lifestyle choices have been singled out as the lead cause of diabetes among most women in Zimbabwe, a Zimbabwe Diabetes Association (ZDA) official has revealed.
Health experts say diabetes is a lifelong condition that causes a person’s blood sugar level to become too high, which if left untreated, can lead to severe complications such as heart disease, stroke, sight damage and kidney failure.
Speaking at the World Diabetes Day commemorations in Harare on Tuesday under the theme “Women and Diabetes’’, ZDA president, John Mangwiro, said most women in Zimbabwe are affected by Type 2 diabetes which is caused by poor lifestyle choices.
“As we raise awareness on diabetes today it is important to note that most diabetes patients are women. Most women do not practice health living behaviours such as watching what they eat and exercising. This has led to the high number of women affected by Type 2 diabetes in the country,” he said.
Mangwiro said if not properly monitored, diabetes may lead to strokes, heart attacks, kidney failures, obesity that may lead to cervical and breast cancer, high blood pressure and lower limb amputations which later lead to death.
Harare Provincial Affairs Minister Miriam Chikukwa urged women to get diagnosed early in order to manage the disease.
“Early diagnosis leads to early treatment and this assists patients in managing the disease. One in every seven births is affected by gestational diabetes a severe and neglected threat to maternal and child health. Also, stigmatisation and discrimination faced people with diabetes is particularly pronounced for girls and women,” she said.
Diabetes is a ninth leading cause of death in women globally with 2,1 million deaths each year.
As a result of socioeconomic conditions, girls and women with diabetes experience barriers in accessing cost –effective diabetes prevention, early detection, diagnosis, treatment and care, particularly in developing countries.
Though Zimbabwe has staged rigorous campaigns to educate the public about diabetes more still needs to be done to curb the disease.