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South Africa has more than 4 million people living with diabetes – many aren’t getting proper treatment

South Africa has more than 4 million people living with diabetes – many aren’t getting proper treatment

DIABETS is a chronic condition that affects how the body turns food into energy. In South Africa, there has been a notable rise in the prevalence of type 2 diabetes in recent years, due to changing diets. People are consuming more processed foods, sugary drinks and high-calorie meals. Other factors are the lack of physical activity and high levels of obesity. PATRICK NGASSA PIOTIE, Project Manager, University of Pretoria Diabetes Research Centre, University of Pretoria Type 2 diabetes is the most common form, making up 90% of cases. With this type, the body produces insulin but can’t use it effectively.…
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Technology and home visits can help South Africans with diabetes cope with insulin

Technology and home visits can help South Africans with diabetes cope with insulin

APPROXIMATELY 4.5 million South Africans have type 2 diabetes – a condition characterised by high levels of sugar in the blood. It can be treated with drugs and managed through healthy eating and exercise. But if it’s not managed well, it can be life-threatening. Diabetes is one of the leading causes of death in South Africa. Blood sugar levels rise to dangerous levels when the pancreas does not produce enough insulin, a hormone that regulates the movement of sugar in the body. Authors PATRICK NGASSA PIOTIE, Project Manager, Tshwane Insulin Project, University of Pretoria ELIZABETH M. WEBB, Associate professor, University…
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A new advance in the search for substances to replace fat in food

A new advance in the search for substances to replace fat in food

IT'S well known that obesity is developing into a growing global health problem. In Africa alone, the number of overweight children under five has increased by nearly 50% since 2000. Obesity is a risk factor in diseases such as cancers, heart disease and diabetes. JOYCE AGYEI-AMPONSAH, Senior Food Research Scientist (Sensory and Consumer Science), Biotechnology and Nuclear Agriculture Research Institute Population shifts from rural to urban areas have also seen dietary shifts towards convenience foods containing more fat and refined carbohydrates and less fibre. These lifestyle changes have been related to the increased occurrence of obesity. Reducing fat in foods…
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Life and times of Menzi Ngubane celebrated

Life and times of Menzi Ngubane celebrated

AFRICAN MIRROR REPORTER MENZI Ngubane’s fellow actors and actress spoke of his love for acting, his passion for fashion and his dedication to his family as they laid him and his father to rest in an emotional funeral at his birthplace, Ladysmith in KwaZulu-Natal. Speaker and after speaker at the funeral paid tribute to Ngubane who graced South African television screens and stages in a career that spanned over three decades. They said his death is a great loss to the SA entertainment industry. The legendary TV giant was also hailed for being an activist who fought for the rights…
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Technology can help people manage their diabetes – case study shows it’s not being used

Technology can help people manage their diabetes – case study shows it’s not being used

FAZLYN PETERSEN ( PhD), Information Systems Lecturer, University of the Western Cape NON-communicable diseases are the leading cause of death globally. There’s no cure for most of them, such as diabetes. Rather, they’re controlled through lifelong medical treatment as well as support from healthcare professionals and family members. Suboptimal treatment of diabetes can lead to severe complications such as amputations, blindness and kidney disease. That’s why ongoing patient self-management education and support are critical to preventing acute complications and reducing the risk of death. This is increasingly important during the COVID-19 pandemic where the treatment and prevention of noncommunicable diseases…
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Lessons from a diabetes clinic in Malawi: why everyone should follow a healthy diet

Lessons from a diabetes clinic in Malawi: why everyone should follow a healthy diet

CHIMWEMWE KWANJO BANDA, PhD fellow at University of Malawi College of Medicine School of Public Health and Family Medicine and part-time lecturer in Medical and Surgical Nursing, University of Malawi ADAMSON S. MUULA, Professor of Epidemiology and Public Health, University of Malawi Diabetes mellitus is common in Malawi: over 268,000 adults live with the disease, and the number is expected to double in the next 20 years. It’s a noncommunicable disease which occurs when the body can’t turn food into energy properly. Although the cause of diabetes is not well understood, it’s linked to a combination of environmental and genetic…
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Why Sierra Leone needs to focus on cardiovascular health

Why Sierra Leone needs to focus on cardiovascular health

MARIA ODLAND, Research Fellow Global Health, University of Birmingham JUSTINE INA DAVIES, Professor of Global Health, Institute for Applied Research, University of Birmingham CARDIOVASCULAR diseases and their risk factors, such as diabetes and high blood pressure, are major causes of death and disability globally. Noncommunicable diseases such as these arise mainly from lifestyle transitions towards a high-calorie diet and low-activity living. These conditions were previously regarded as a problem for high-income countries. But low- and middle-income countries have followed the same trend. Now more than three quarters of deaths due to cardiovascular disease are in low- and middle-income countries. Despite…
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Diabetes prevention and care needs more nurses with extra training and support

Diabetes prevention and care needs more nurses with extra training and support

AS the world grapples with COVID-19, a quieter and even more ferocious pandemic ravages the globe. Type 2 diabetes rates continue to soar internationally, linked to lifestyle factors such as poor diet, excessive sugary drink consumption, being sedentary, stress and smoking. These have been so “normalised” into modern culture, that diabetes escapes attention and urgent action. SUNDEEP RUDER, Clinical Endocrinologist & Associate Lecturer, University of the Witwatersrand According to the International Diabetes Federation, 463 million people have diabetes in the world. Prevalence in South Africa is estimated at around 12.8%. This places the number of people affected at around 4.5…
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Zulu King admitted to hospital I.C.U

Zulu King admitted to hospital I.C.U

AFRICAN MIRROR REPORTER ONE of Africa’s most influential and powerful traditional leaders - King Goodwill Zwelithini - who presides over the country’s 12 millions Zulus, has been admitted to the intensive care unit of a hospital where he is being treated for diabetes. The state of Zwelithini’s health and his admission to hospital was disclosed by Inkosi Mangosuthu Buthelezi, the King’s traditional prime minister. Buthelezi said Zwelithini was admitted to hospital for the second time after treatment for his diabetes failed to stabilise his glucose levels.  “As it is widely known, His Majesty is a diabetic and his glucose levels…
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We’re on the hunt for novel ways to assess the risk of type 2 diabetes

We’re on the hunt for novel ways to assess the risk of type 2 diabetes

TYPE 2 diabetes is characterised by elevated blood glucose levels. This can cause complications that lead to damage to the kidneys, nerves, and the retina in the eyes. Other complications can lead to heart diseases and diabetic foot ulcers, which eventually require amputation. CECIL JACK WEALE, Assistant Lecturer and Medical Researcher, Cape Peninsula University of Technology Until fairly recently type 2 diabetes was considered a major health issue only in developed countries. But there’s been an increase in prevalence in developing countries. This has been attributed to rapid urbanisation, increased fast food consumption and general lack of exercise. The diabetes…
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