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Diabetes in Africa: Epidemiology, management and healthcare challenges
  1. Naomi Levitt (dinky.levitt{at}
  1. University of Cape Town, South Africa


    Introduction Diabetes is an increasing problem in Sub-Saharan Africa. Type 2 diabetes, the most common form, is becoming more prevalent due to rising rates of obesity, physical inactivity and urbanisation. Type 1 diabetes exists in two major forms in the region; Type 1 A or autoimmune and type 1B or ketosis prone type 2 diabetes. At present there are scanty epidemiological data on either. The current morbidity of diabetes is primarily due the high rates of microvascular complications, while macrovascular complications, once rare, are becoming more common, particularly in the urban setting. Further, despite the HIV epidemic, the total number of people with diabetes in the region is expected to grow because of changing demography. A concerted multi-sectoral effort will be critical to ensuring improvement in health care delivery for people with diabetes in the region.

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