BRUSSELS, BELGIUM--(Marketwire - Nov. 14, 2012) - New estimates released by the International Diabetes Federation (IDF) today to mark World Diabetes Day 2012 show that 14 million people in Africa have diabetes and 81% of these people are still undiagnosed. This means Africa now has the highest rate of undiagnosed diabetes in the world.
The highest prevalence of diabetes in the Africa region is in the island of Reunion (16%) followed by the Seychelles. Some of Africa's most populous countries also have the highest number of people with diabetes, with Nigeria having the largest number at 3.2 million followed by South with 2 million.
Silver Bahendeka, Chair of IDF's Africa region said, "In Africa we need to encourage strengthening of our national health systems to encourage earlier diagnosis and prevent onset of later complications, which increase the social and economic burden on already poor areas."
The African figures, from IDF's Diabetes Atlas 2012 Update, echo the shocking increase in diabetes on a global level. The number of people globally living with diabetes in 2012 has risen to 371 million, compared to 366 million in 2011.
"In every country and in every community worldwide, we are losing the battle against this cruel and deadly disease," said Jean Claude Mbanya, President of the International Diabetes Federation (IDF). "On World Diabetes Day, we want to raise awareness that with the right education and care this disease can be controlled and in some cases prevented."
"Millions of people are dying from diabetes in their most productive years," added Ann Keeling, CEO of IDF. "The stability of societies is threatened and huge economic and political burdens are imposed on countries and communities. However, this disease remains marginalised on the global health and development agenda and vastly under-resourced."
It is hoped that campaigns such as today's World Diabetes Day will continue to raise the voice of people with diabetes and to encourage all stakeholders to move from advocacy to action on an African and global scale.
For more information on the 5th edition Diabetes Atlas, 2012 updates and country/regional factsheets: http://www.idf.org/diabetesatlas/.
About World Diabetes Day
World Diabetes Day (WDD) is celebrated every year on November 14. The World Diabetes Day campaign is led by the International Diabetes Federation (IDF) and its member associations. It engages millions of people worldwide in diabetes advocacy and awareness. World Diabetes Day was created in 1991 by the International Diabetes Federation and the World Health Organization in response to growing concerns about the escalating health threat that diabetes now poses. World Diabetes Day became an official United Nations Day in 2007 with the passage of United Nation Resolution 61/225. The campaign draws attention to issues of paramount importance to the diabetes world and keeps diabetes firmly in the public spotlight. This year sees the fourth of a five-year campaign that will address the growing need for diabetes education and prevention programmes.
About the International Diabetes Federation (IDF)
The International Diabetes Federation (IDF) is an umbrella organisation of over 200 national diabetes associations in over 160 countries. It represents the interests of the growing number of people with diabetes and those at risk. The Federation has been leading the global diabetes community since 1950. IDF's mission is to promote diabetes care, prevention and a cure worldwide. www.idf.org
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