More than 18 percent of coronavirus deaths in Africa are among patients with diabetes, the World Health Organisation Africa office says.
Diabetes is a condition that global studies have found increases the risk of severe illness and death among patients infected with the coronavirus.
The United Nations health agency said an analysis of 14 African nations that provided information on COVID-19 and comorbidities showed that 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,” WHO regional director for Africa, Dr. Matshidiso Moeti, said.
“We must turn this around by investing in early detection, prevention and treatment of diabetes,” she added.
The WHO said: “The African region is also witnessing a rise in diabetes risk factors such as obesity.
“Increasingly sedentary lifestyle and consuming foods rich in sugar, fats and salt is heightening obesity, ranging from 2.5 percent of adults in Burundi to 26.9 percent in Seychelles.
“We must not lose sight of other health challenges as we combat COVID-19. We need to call attention to this chronic illness, which is increasingly threatening the lives of Africans,” Moeti said.
Diabetes is a major cause of blindness, kidney failure, heart attacks, stroke and lower limb amputation.
With early diagnosis and treatment, many of the harmful effects can be delayed or even avoided, said the WHO.
The post 18% of COVID-19 deaths in Africa tied to diabetes, says WHO appeared first on Healthwise.