Zimbabwe: More funds needed to fight diabetes


ZIMBABWE celebrated World Diabetes Day on Saturday with calls for more funding for the noncommunicable disease affecting approximately 1.4 million people in the country.

Diabetes is a chronic disease prevalent in Zimbabwe that occurs when the pancreas does not produce enough insulin or when the body cannot use insulin effectively.

According to the World Health Organization, diabetes is a leading cause of blindness, kidney failure, heart attacks, strokes and lower limb amputations.

Locally, the Ministry of Health and Childcare said with the prevalence of diabetes, there are greater complications such as kidney failure, blindness and amputations with increased mortality.

The ministry also estimates that 10 out of 100 people have diabetes and diabetes statistics represent over 100,000 outpatient visits or consultations per year.

This is despite the fact that diabetic patients are struggling to access drugs like metformin, glibenclamide, and insulin injections, and the treatment is expensive – up to hundreds of dollars a month.

Blood glucose testing equipment used in most public hospitals is outdated while those in private clinics are expensive.

But in addition to more funds, there are proposals to make better use of available resources.

In a statement, Doctors Without Borders media contact Ms. Caroline Gwature said the organization has partnered with the Ministry of Health and Child Care to create a nurse-led model for noncommunicable diseases. which will see nurses able to diagnose and manage diabetes.


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