Diabetes problem makes Africa more vulnerable to death from COVID-19, WHO says – Community News

Diabetes problem makes Africa more vulnerable to death from COVID-19, WHO says

Director General of the Ghana Health Service Dr. Patrick Kuma-Aboagye receives the vaccine against coronavirus disease (COVID-19) during the vaccination campaign at Ridge Hospital in Accra, Ghana on March 2, 2021. REUTERS/Francis Kokoroko

NAIROBI, Nov. 11 (Reuters) – Death rates from COVID-19 infections are much higher among patients with diabetes in Africa, where the number of people with diabetes is growing rapidly, the World Health Organization said Thursday.

A WHO analysis of data from 13 African countries found a mortality rate of 10.2% in COVID-19 patients with diabetes, compared to 2.5% for COVID-19 patients overall.

“COVID-19 sends a clear message: fighting the diabetes epidemic in Africa is in many ways just as crucial as fighting the current pandemic,” said Matshidiso Moeti, WHO regional director for Africa, in a statement. .

According to the WHO, an estimated 70% of people with diabetes on the continent did not know they had a disease.

The number of people with diabetes in Africa is expected to rise to 55 million by 2045, from 24 million this year, the International Diabetes Federation predicts.

The data from Africa on the increased vulnerability of people with diabetes to death from COVID-19 reflects a global trend: A Reuters survey this year reported that the pandemic has revealed that the United States has already begun its public health fight against diabetes. over a decade.

According to a Reuters count, Africa recorded more than 8.6 million confirmed COVID-19 cases and 2200,000 deaths on Thursday.

Less than 7% of the African population is fully vaccinated against COVID-19, compared to about 40% worldwide, the WHO says.

Reporting by George Obulutsa Editing by Maggie Fick and Raissa Kasolowsky

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