The light Magazine

Rwanda: Over 200,000 people live with Diabetes unknowingly

Written by: Daniel Tuyizere
Wednesday, November 15th, 2017, 12:01

Thomas Muhawenimana, a resident of Nyamugari village, Gikore cell, Cyabingo sector of Gakenke District used to think that everyone with frequent urination suffers from Diabetes. This was after he got enough information about Diabetes during an event at Cyabingo health centre in Gakenke District to mark the World Diabetes day.


Apoline Mujawamariya, a community health worker from Karombero village, Musaza cell, in Cyabingo sector said that they have put much effort in helping the community understand the burden of non-communicable diseases especially Diabetes during monthly home visits since most people have different information about the diseases.


It is in this regard that they encourage people to visit the health centre and attend screenings in order to know their health status.


Themed “Women and Diabetes”, this year’s World Diabetes Day calls for screening to ensure early diagnosis of Type two Diabetes and treatment to reduce the risks of complications.


There are currently over 199 million women living with Diabetes and this total is projected to increase to 313 million by 2040.


Commenting on Diabetes status in Rwanda, Crispin Gishoma, Director at Rwanda Diabetes Association, said that nationwide, three percent which is approximately between 300,000 and 400,000 people have Diabetes and less than 70,000 patients are followed in healthcare institutions which means that a big number of people do not know their status.


Gishoma added that the disease is increasing due to the life changes where many people are not physically active, neither eat healthy nor guard themselves against excessive weight gain.


Dr. Jean-Baptiste Mazarati, the head of Biomedical services department at Rwanda Biomedical centre emphasised that Diabetes can attack anyone both poor or rich in case they consume much alcohol, tobacco, eating foods containing much fats and don’t exercise any sport.


He added that Diabete is a burden worldwide as it is in Rwanda, more than 500 people died of Diabetes in Rwanda.


The burden of Diabetes


According to medics, Diabetes is a major cause of blindness, kidney failure, heart attack, stroke and lower limb amputation. However, healthy diet, physical activity and avoiding tobacco use can prevent or delay type 2-Diabetes.


Diabetes can also be treated and its consequences avoided or delayed with medication, regular screening and treatment for complications.


Globally, an estimated 422 million adults were living with Diabetes in 2014, compared to 108 million in 1980. The global prevalence of Diabetes has nearly doubled since 1980, rising from 4.7% to 8.5% in the adult population. This reflects an increase in associated risk factors such as being overweight or obese.


Over the past decade, Diabetes prevalence has risen faster in low and middle-income countries than in high-income countries. Diabetes caused 1.5 million deaths in 2012. Higher-than-optimal blood glucose caused an additional 2.2 million deaths, by increasing the risks of cardiovascular and other diseases. Forty-three percent of these 3.7 million deaths occur before the age of 70 years.



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