In 2015, International Diabetes Federation (IDF) released statistics that showed that at least 2.7% of adults in Lesotho were diagnosed with diabetes. This percentage at the time translated to 30,300 people.
By 2017, the then Minister of Health Dr. ‘Molotsi Monyame when addressing the prevalence of diabetes mentioned that about 4% of Basotho suffered from this silent killer.
Diabetes is a chronic disease which occurs as a result of a pancreas that produces inadequate insulin or when the body cannot effectively use the insulin it produces. It is diagnosed through a urine sample and is often followed by a blood test which serves as confirmation.
There are various types of diabetes however, the most prevalent ones are type 1 diabetes and type 2 diabetes. The former is which is also known as juvenile diabetes occurs when the body fails to produce insulin hence its patients are insulin dependent and require daily insulin administration.
The latter which constitutes 90% of all diabetics, affects the way the body produces insulin and this could stem from a variety of issues including but not restricted to, excess body weight and physical inactivity.
Its symptoms include frequent urination, intense hunger, weight gain, unusual weight loss, blurred vision and increased fatigue. When uncontrolled, it can lead to complications such as erectile dysfunction, stroke, hearing loss, wounds take longer to heal and gum disease.
Research conducted in 2018 by IDF uncovered that parents would struggle to spot this life-long condition in their children. This sparked, Family and Diabetes which is this year’s theme for diabetes awareness month and World Diabetes day on the 14th November.
This theme seeks to raise awareness on the impact diabetes has on the support network of those affected and promoting the role of the family in the management, care, prevention, and education of diabetes. As a sign of support, individuals can wear and share blue circle pins.