21 December 2012

Kenya: Cases of Diabetes Among Children On the Rise

Photo: Phuong Tran/IRIN
Diabetes on the increase among young people (file photo).

AT least 1.8 million young people are suffering from diabetes in Kenya, the disease's management specialists have said.

The Kenya Diabetes Management and Information Centre, Ministry of Public Health and Sanitation and psychological counselors yesterday said the prevalence rate among the young people is high.

"Currently 1.8 million young people are suffering from diabetes. Parents should ensure early diagnosis is done so that they are guided on its proper management soonest possible," said Zachary Ndegwa, a diabetic specialist with the Health ministry.

The specialists had converged in Nakuru to deliberate on the status of the disease in Kenya. They said intensive research should be done to explain the reasons why diabetes type A and B are on the rise in some parts of the country.

Ndegwa said many children below five years have succumbed to diabetes type A. "Many children below five have died of diabetes type A without their parents knowing that they are suffering from the disease," noted Ndegwa.

The Central region leads in cases of children with diabetes type A, followed by Nyanza, North Eastern and the Coast. Ndegwa asked parents to take their children for diagnosis rather than ignore the symptoms.

Meanwhile, Ndegwa said the government will continue to supply insulin at a subsidised price so that patients can properly manage the disease. Ndegwa, warned chemists against selling insulin at inflated prices.

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