Diabetes is a condition that global studies have found increases the risk of severe illness and death among patients infected with the coronavirus. The World Health Organization now estimates that more than 18% of coronavirus deaths in Africa are among patients with diabetes.
According to an analysis of 14 African nations that provided information on COVID-19 and comorbidities, people older than 60 years of age face greater risks of complications or death from COVID-19.
“Far too many people are in the dark as to whether they have diabetes. People with this chronic condition suffer a double blow if they are also infected with COVID-19,” said Dr. Matshidiso Moeti, WHO regional director for Africa. “We must turn this around by investing in early detection, prevention and treatment of diabetes.”
The WHO said: ‘’the African region is also witnessing a rise in diabetes risk factors such as obesity. An increasingly sedentary lifestyle and consuming foods rich in sugar, fats, and salt is heightening obesity, ranging from 2.5% of adults in Burundi to 26.9 % in Seychelles.’’
“We must not lose sight of other health challenges as we combat COVID-19. World Diabetes Day is a key“We must not lose sight of other health challenges as we combat COVID-19. World Diabetes Day is a key moment to call attention to this chronic illness, which is increasingly threatening the lives of Africans,” Moeti said.
The report comes a day before the world marks world diabetes day that is annually celebrated on November 14th
Meanwhile, Africa has recorded more than 1.9million COVID-19 cases and 45,000 deaths with more than 1.6 million recoveries, this is according to the WHO