We need ground breaking research on diabetes

22Mar 2016
The Guardian
We need ground breaking research on diabetes

WITH one death every six seconds, diabetes is now a big killer than the HIV and tuberculosis and malaria combined. Besides being a major killer in Tanzania and the world, the disease costs a significant percentage of governments' healthcare budgets.

People who live with diabetes in Tanzania spend a large proportion of their income on treatment. As a result, diabetes imposes a large economic burden on individuals, families and national health systems.

Experts in Tanzania say that the data showing the exact prevalence of diabetes is still hard to come by, as the non-communicable disease is still largely under-researched.

According to the International Diabetes Foundation (IDF), there were more than 822,800 cases of diabetes in Tanzania in 2015.Last week the disease was at the center of the discussion at the East Africa Diabetes Study Group Scientific congress held in Dar es Salaam.

The congress has attracted scientists from Africa and the rest of the world, according to the Tanzania Diabetes Association (TDA).

Key experts from the World Health Organisation (WHO) and Ministries of Health from Africa and international health policy experts explored effective national and regional efforts to address the escalating diabetes crisis in African nations.

African countries that have the highest numbers of people with diabetes are South Africa (2.3 million), the Democratic Republic of Congo (1.8 million), Nigeria (1.6 million) and Ethiopia (1.3 million).

Among the experts, are four former presidents of the IDF, including Prof. George Albert, a prominent scientist who has conducted important, ground breaking research on diabetes in Tanzania.

We believe that there are still many people in Tanzania who live with diabetes unknowingly. People can live with a certain type of diabetes--known as Diabetes type-2--without actually showing symptoms.

It is good news that thousands of Tanzanians with diabetes will now be able to send their glucose levels to doctors using a smart technology devise introduced by Cumii International to provide efficient management of diabetes.

This new technology is expected to revolutionize the existing smart technology market of Tanzania, as they will provide practical and essential solutions to consumers in both urban and rural areas.

Over the last 15 years most African countries have been focusing on connecting people to people through various solutions with mobile technology emerging as a leading solution in Africa. In Tanzania, for example, mobile technology has enabled connectivity to about 33 million people.

Mobile technology, which has allowed Africa to leap frog connectivity, is now rolling out 4G technologies, while many countries in Europe and USA have not rolled out similar networks.

Mobile data is experiencing exponential growth in Africa mainly driven by social media.

Africa is on the threshold of a new era of innovation and change with the convergence of industry powered by computing, analytics, low cost sensing and higher level of connectivity.

Tanzania is part of Cumii International's key Pan African markets that includes Kenya, Zambia, Rwanda, Zimbabwe, South Africa, DRC, Uganda and Nigeria rolling out connected services as part of its suite of Internet of Things (IOT) services in Africa.

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