The Namibian (Windhoek)

13 November 2012

Namibia: Diabetes Day Marked in Windhoek

WEDNESDAY is World Diabetes Day and the newly founded Namibia Diabetes Lifestyle Foundation is holding a fundraiser.

The objective of the foundation is to create awareness, support and educate people with diabetes and their families.

The aim of the fundraiser is to assist diabetics who do not have medical aid.

“We need to help especially the children who have diabetes and no medical aid to get better and modern insulin. The children without medical aid still inject insulin with a long needle.

“They don't have fridges to keep the insulin and the glass bottles in which the insulin comes can break easily. We need to get them onto the new insulin pens which are more heat resistant and come in a plastic packaging,” said Maryke de Vos, the founder of Namibia Diabetes Lifestyle Foundation.

Diabetes is on the increase worldwide and it is estimated that by 2030 one in every ten adults will have diabetes. According to statistics of the International Diabetes Federation 80% of all people with diabetes live in low- and middle-income countries.

About 78 000 children worldwide develop Type 1 diabetes every year and the greatest number of people with diabetes are between the ages of 40 and 59. Currently diabetes affects more people worldwide than HIV-AIDS.

According to Charlotte Thiele, a registered dietitian and a member of the Namibia Diabetes Lifestyle Foundation, the patient needs to be at the centre of the care.

“A person with diabetes needs all the information and knowledge available to be able to self-manage his or her diabetes. People with diabetes live full, normal lives provided the diabetes is well managed,” she said.

People need to go for regular testing at their pharmacies or doctors to catch diabetes as soon as possible so that treatment can start immediately and the risk of complication can be minimised.

Tomorrow, people can have their blood sugar levels tested at pharmacies, the Rhino Park and MediClinic hospitals, or at the Methealth Namibia offices in Maerua Mall, where they can also receive more information on diabetes.

People who wish to support this fundraiser can buy a sticker for N$10 and wear denim to work tomorrow in support of World Diabetes Day.

They can also buy a bracelet for N$50 to help create awareness of diabetes.

The foundation is also selling cupcakes to raise funds for various awareness and education projects in Namibia. The cupcakes cost N$15 and need to be ordered in advance, as there is only a limited amount available.

People who would like to support this fundraiser can phone Maryke de Vos at 081 304 1298.

Diabetics who are in need of help can also phone De Vos.

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