Diabetes claims around 2,500 leg amputations a year in KwaZulu-Natal, the department of health in the province said on Sunday.
The province’s health MEC Sibongiseni Dhlomo sounded the alarm and urged citizens to fight back against diabetes and other non-communicable diseases.
“Diabetes, alongside other non-communicable diseases such as hypertension, heart disease, stroke and others, has exploded and become a major problem,” he said.
Dhlomo was speaking at the 5km Durban Wellness Festival on the beachfront on Sunday morning.
According to the department, roughly six leg amputations are done per day at government hospitals around KwaZulu-Natal.
“We all must therefore try and increase awareness about these diseases. That is why we are also urging our fellow compatriots to make lifestyle adjustments.
“Getting engaged in regular exercise, getting rid of bad habits like smoking, and alcohol and substance abuse; and following a healthy and balanced diet, can delay the onset of diabetes and these other diseases,” he said.
He urged everyone to get screened and tested for diabetes at least once a year, especially those with a family history of the sickness.
“Each and every person must know about diabetes. They must know about it more than healthcare professionals.
“Even if you’re diagnosed with diabetes, it should not automatically follow that next year we are amputating your leg. There’s a lot you can do to delay the onset of complications,” Dhlomo said.
By: Iavan Pijoos – TimesLIVE
Source: TMG Digital