An estimated 3.5 million South African adults are living with diabetes while a further 5 million are suffering from a condition known as pre-diabetes.
November is globally acknowledged as Diabetes Awareness Month and Netcare will once more be actively involved in providing support to the Bongi Ngema-Zuma Foundation, in its Diabetes Awareness Drive to be held at the World Outreach Centre in Tsakane, Ekurhuleni on Saturday, 22 November. The aim is to raise awareness and educate the public about the disease, while free diabetes screenings will also be offered to those interested in being tested.
According to Mande Toubkin, general manager: corporate social investment (CSI) at Netcare, “This is the second time that Netcare is actively involved in the Foundation’s awareness and screening initiatives. The day promises to be an exciting one, starting with a 5km walk which kicks off at 6am through the streets of the Ekurhuleni to promote physical exercise. Netcare 911 will have ambulances with paramedics on hand to offer medical assistance and support to those participating in the walk and at the screening event.”
Dr Anchen Laubscher, medical director of Netcare, says that the diabetes epidemic in South Africa is escalating rapidly. “There are many people who remain undiagnosed. This is because diabetes often has a deceptive onset with subtle symptoms and many people have no idea that they have the disease, especially the pre-disease. This is why it is vital that individuals have themselves screened. Diabetes screening tests are imperative when it comes to the prevention, early detection and appropriate management of diabetes,” she adds.
“National Renal Care (NRC) will also have staff on hand to provide advice on the importance of adopting a balanced, nutritious diet and maintaining a healthy lifestyle, as diabetes is one of the leading causes of kidney disease,” adds Toubkin.
It is important to make people aware of the seriousness of risk factors such as obesity, glucose intolerance, lack of exercise and an unhealthy diet. “Individuals with these risk factors also need to look out for warning signs including tiredness, weight loss, increased thirst, blurred vision and lack of concentration. Education is key to the prevention of diabetes,” asserts Dr Laubscher.
“The most important message we wish to share is that although there is no cure for diabetes, careful monitoring and making certain lifestyle changes such as eating a healthy diet, exercising and giving up smoking can help diabetics and pre-diabetics avoid complications and enjoy a long, productive life,” concludes Toubkin.
Issued by: Martina Nicholson Associates (MNA) for Netcare and Netcare 911
Contact: Martina Nicholson, Graeme Swinney, Sarah Wilson and Jillian Penaluna
Telephone: (011) 469 3016
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