By Ambrose Gahene
Lions Clubs of Uganda, through Lions Diabetes awareness and prevention project extended free diabetes screening to Ugandans across the country, to mark World Diabetes Day, which ran under the theme; “Access to diabetes care”, because too many people still do not have access to diagnostics, medicines and monitoring devices that can help with diabetes management.
The one week Awareness campaign event for diabetes disease ran from 14th to 20th November 2021, where each individual Lions club conducted medical screening for diabetes in their districts. In Kampala, People rode bicycles during diabetes awareness campaign event.
Dans Naturinda Nshekanabo, the Lions Clubs of Uganda diabetes awareness and prevention project coordinator, said diabetes can be prevented or reversed if detected early, through regular physical exercises and proper diet.
“Lions Clubs of Uganda are here to provide free diabetes screening services to help communities know their status and give them information about diabetes prevention and management,” he said.
Phoebe Nabiryo, a Laboratory Personnel, who carried out diabetes screening at Kamwokya Duggan Primary School on Friday, said Diabetes results from lifestyle habits, such as; excessive consumption of alcohol and sugars, which in turn brings about irreversible blindness. She said over 600 people of all ages turned up for diabetes screening.
She reiterated the need for Ugandans to carry out regular diabetes screening, as it’s one of the lifestyle dangerous diseases.
“In Uganda, a total of 1.5 million people suffer from diabetes, without them knowing about it”, she said. Lions Clubs have over past years carried out diabetes screening and treatment of preventable blindness, through health camps across Uganda.
According to World Health Organization (WHO) sources, 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 percent to 8.5 percent 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.
WHO sources say; Diabetes is a major cause of blindness, kidney failure, heart attack, stroke and lower limb amputation. Healthy diet, physical activity and avoiding tobacco use can prevent or delay type 2 diabetes.
In addition diabetes can be treated and its consequences avoided or delayed with medication, regular screening and treatment for complications.