We are fighting a silent epidemic. The prevalence of diabetes and chronic diseases in emerging countries is high, particularly in Africa. Unfortunately, the exact figures are largely unknown.
Estimates range from 5-20% across various groups and observations indicate an upward trend, accelerated by urbanisation and the rise in living standards. Public infrastructure is lagging behind. Investment in healthcare is limited. Governments are just beginning to consider non-communicable diseases as a public issue.
Of course, the structure of healthcare influences awareness, diagnostic and treatment. But other elements play a role too, for example local and cultural specificities that are not always considered in mainstream information about diabetes and associated diseases.
Without leveraging energies more widely, across geographies and industries, the impact of diabetes will continue to wreck havoc on the economies of the continent.
Sixty percent of Africa’s 1.25 billion people are under age 25. By 2050, one-third of global youth will be in Sub-Saharan Africa.
Young people across Africa and Africans from the diaspora are contributing to the fields of health and science, entrepreneurship and communications. The 2015 Afro Barometer showed that 54% of young Africans had attended a community meeting or joined others to raise an issue.
As innovation in science and communications progresses, so do opportunities for new approaches to healthcare. Increasingly, African consumers are getting connected to the internet with a 35.2% internet penetration rate and growing at 20% year on year. In many places, Africans are not only consuming information and services on a mobile-first basis, but on a mobile-only basis. The number of mobile phones in Sub-Saharan Africa will reach 690 million from 250 in the next eight years.
Diabetes Africa helps healthcare professionals, entrepreneurs and decision-makers reach more people and make a greater impact fighting diabetes in Africa and around the world.
With continuous upskilling and improved communication at the heart of our activities, we inform and connect people around three topics: access to medicine and treatment, research and policy.
Our staff, members and partners from the continent and the diaspora share the same vision: to make Africa the place where innovation in diabetes diagnostic and treatment is best shared and originates. Eventually, Diabetes Africa seek to make the disease in Africa and in people of African origin a thing of the past.