On November 14 every year Kenya joins the rest of the world to celebrate World Diabetes Day (WDD).
World Diabetes Day provides an opportunity to raise awareness of diabetes as a global public health issue and what needs to be done, collectively and individually for prevention, diagnosis, and management of the condition.
This year’s theme is ‘access to diabetes education, underpins the larger multi-year theme of ‘access to care.
From 2009-2013 the theme was education and prevention in link to problems like obesity, human rights, lifestyle, children and teenagers, and the vulnerable and disadvantaged.
Diabetes is a lifelong condition characterized by high blood sugar resulting from the lack of or insufficient production of insulin, insulin resistance (inaction) or both.
In 1991, both International Diabetes Federation ( IDF ) and World Health Organization brought about the day. It was also the birthday of Sir Frederick Banting, a Canadian medical scientist who along with Charles Best discovered insulin and was the first to use it to help people.
Insulin is a hormone in the body which facilitates the entry of glucose in the body cells to produce energy.
If the body does not take up glucose, it floods the blood system. This is then referred to as high blood sugar.
World Diabetes Day became an official United Nations day in 2006 and has reached and impacted more than 1 billion people across the world.
Signs and Symptoms of Diabetese
Frequent urination at night.
Lose weight without trying.
Numb or tingling hands or feet.
Feeling very tired
Very dry skin.
To prevent diabetes or control blood sugar if one is already having the condition it is important to adopt a healthy lifestyle.
This means eating healthy foods – more vegetables and fruits, fewer carbohydrates, fats, sugars, and salts. One also needs to exercise regularly; at least 30 minutes of brisk walking every day will do you good.
How To Observe World Diabetes Day
1. Go Blue.
People wear blue clothes or ribbons to show their support as the color represents support of finding a cure for diabetes and spread awareness.
2. Join a World Diabetes Day event.
Median and government resources based on specific location might be a good place to find information and also the World Diabetes Day website has more information and access to global events.
3. Get a health checkup.
Visit a doctor to get a screening and blood sugar tests
4. Drink water.
Take in lots of water and avoid sweet sugary drinks.
5. Eat fresh food.
Eat fruits and vegetables and avoid high carbonated foods.
6. Exercise daily.
BY NOELLA OUKO