18.3% of Covid-19 deaths in Africa linked to diabetes – WHO

According to the International Health Agency, an analysis of 14 African countries showed that the risk of COVID-19 complications among people with diabetes increases with age.

About 18.3 percent of COVID-19 deaths in the African region are among people with diabetes, the World Health Organization (WHO) said on Thursday.

This is stated in a statement issued ahead of World Diabetes Day, which is commemorated annually on November 14 to raise awareness about the disease.

According to the International Health Agency, an analysis of 14 African countries showed that the risk of COVID-19 complications among people with diabetes increases with age.

The analysis also revealed that people aged 60 and older are at greater risk for the virus, which has infected more than 52 million people worldwide.

Diabetes is one of the conditions that worldwide studies have found to increase the risk of serious illness and death among patients with covid-19 virus.

Diabetes is one of the deadliest non-communicable diseases in the world.

In 2015, approximately 1.6 million deaths were caused directly by diabetes and another 2.2 million deaths are attributed to high blood glucose in 2012.

It is a serious, persistent disease in which blood sugar is increased. This may be due to the fact that the pancreas does not produce enough insulin (type 1 diabetes), or that the body cannot use the insulin it produces effectively (type 2 diabetes).

The African region experienced a sixfold increase, from 4 million cases in 1980 to 25 million in 2014.

With about 60 percent of people not being diagnosed with diabetes, most of the African region is unaware of their status.

A study in Kenya also found that 60 per cent of people diagnosed with the chronic condition did not use medication.

“There are too many people who are in the dark or have diabetes. People with this chronic condition get a double blow if they are also infected with COVID-19,” said Matshidiso Moeti, WTO Regional Director of Africa.

She said it was important to start investing in early detection, prevention and treatment of diabetes.

Moeti also urged countries not to lose sight of other health issues that threaten the world.

‘We must not lose sight of other health challenges as we fight COVID-19. “World Diabetes Day is an important moment to draw attention to this chronic disease, which is increasingly threatening the lives of Africans,” she said.

At the outset of the COVID-19 pandemic, health services for diabetes were particularly disrupted.

Only about a third of the countries that reported in a WHO survey among 41 countries in sub-Saharan Africa indicated that services are fully operational.

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