Kenya: An Estimated 40 Percent of Kenyans With Diabetes Are Unaware of Their Condition

(file photo).
14 November 2019

Nairobi — Sanofi in partnership with the Ministry of Health, the International Diabetes Federation (IDF), Kenya Diabetes Study Group and Diabetes Kenya Association marked World Diabetes Day, Thursday, with a call for concerted efforts in prevention rather than cure for diabetes.

Speaking during an event to mark World Diabetes Day Ben Mugambi Director of Administration Ministry of Health said the prevalence of diabetes in Kenya is still high and prevention measures will yield better outcomes as opposed to treatment.

"We need to work together as stakeholders in the healthcare industry to eliminate Non Communicable diseases through awareness programmes and ensure that our people take this challenge individually," he noted.

As part of the global celebrations, Sanofi unveiled the "Diabetes Your Type" global campaign advocating a call to action for an individualized approach to the management of diabetes. Through this global, multi-stakeholder approach the company aims to improve the quality of life and health outcomes for people living with diabetes.

"Diabetes is a growing public health concern, but each person living with diabetes is unique," said Peter Munyasi, Country Chair Kenya and General Manager Sanofi East Africa Hub. "We aim to bring stakeholders together to enable more personalized care for everyone. Diabetes. Your Type. is giving voice to individual stories, to send the message that we are part of that change"

Over 2000 doctors in general practice have been enrolled in an intensive course on diabetes management sponsored by Sanofi in partnership with the International Diabetes Federation (IDF), Kenya Diabetes Study Group, Diabetes Kenya Association and The Ministry of Health.

The course which is being offered through IDF digital platforms will run until the end of the year and targets doctors countrywide in an effort to increase the number of doctors specialising in diabtes management.

Diabetes is a global pandemic affecting over 425 million people worldwide and an estimated 460,000 people living with diabetes in Kenya, and estimates indicate that this total is set to rise to over 1.3 million people within a generation.

According to the 9th edition of the IDF Diabetes Atlas published today, there are now more than 463 million adults living with diabetes around the world. This number is estimated to rise to 700 million by 2045.

In 2019, just over half a million adults are living with diabetes in Kenya. This total is estimated to triple over the next 25 years. A high number of Kenyans with diabetes - an estimated 40% - are unaware of their condition.

According to the Kenya Medical Board, there are about 7,000 actively practicing health professionals in Kenya. However, there are about 12 endocrinologists who specialise in diabetes management.

This shows that most people seek diabetes care from general practitioners who may benefit from additional upskilling in diabetes management.

To bridge this gap, a nationwide Diabetes training program was rolled out in June 2019 to train 2000 General practitioners in diabetes management.

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