Human rights campaigner, Setfree Mafukidze has written a letter to Vice President, Retired General Dr. Constantine Chiwenga urging him to take steps to improve access to the best possible diabetes education for health professionals and people living with diabetes in Zimbabwe.
Below, Spiked Online Media reproduces the letter to VP Chiwenga:
Dear Vice President and Minister of Health
I am writing to urge you to improve access to the best possible diabetes education for health professionals and people living with diabetes in Zimbabwe.
According to the latest global figures from the International Diabetes Federation (IDF), more than half a billion people are now living with diabetes. In Zimbabwe, an estimated 106,433 people live with the condition – 53% of whom are undiagnosed.
In 2021, diabetes led to 2,942 deaths and US$84,553,062 of health expenditure in our country. There is a pressing need to invest in the training of healthcare professionals and dedicate sufficient resources to diabetes education and care for people living with diabetes.
When diabetes is undetected or inadequately treated, people with diabetes are at high risk of serious and life-threatening complications. Investment in diabetes education will help reduce the prevalence of diabetes-related complications and the economic impact of the condition.
Action is needed now. Zimbabwe has committed to act towards the achievement of the WHO diabetes coverage targets by 2030:
· 80% of people living with diabetes are diagnosed
· 80% of people with diagnosed diabetes have good control of glycemia
· 80% of people with diagnosed diabetes have good control of blood pressure
· 60% of people with diabetes of 40 years or older receive statins
· 100% of people with type 1 diabetes have access to affordable insulin and blood glucose self-monitoring
Achieving the targets will not be possible without improving access to quality diabetes education.
Education can help stop the rise of diabetes and improve outcomes. On behalf of the diabetes community, I urge you to dedicate sufficient resources to improve access to diabetes education in Zimbabwe and advocate for similar action around the world. We need diabetes education today to protect tomorrow.
The diabetes community counts on your support.
Setfree Nherera Mafukidze (Registered Nurse).