The fight against diabetes has been intensified with the recently formed Bongi Ngema-Zuma Foundation teaming up with Winterveldt Mercy Clinic, north of Pretoria, to aggressively drive awareness about the disease.
The Bongi Ngema-Zuma Foundation was recently formed by Gloria Bongi Ngema-Zuma, fiancée of President Jacob Zuma, to raise awareness and help people take control of diabetes.
In an event to mark World Diabetes Day, the Minister of Health, Dr Aaron Motsoaledi, and Bongi Ngema-Zuma led a four-kilometre Fun Walk through the streets of Winterveldt, and were joined by hundreds of community members to raise awareness about diabetes.
The World Diabetes Day is observed annually on November 14th worldwide. Held at Mercy Centre Clinic, this event also kicked off the Bongi Ngema-Zuma Foundation’s ambitious programme to drive broader awareness about diabetes, its symptoms, treatment and management.
'Let's fight this killer head on'
Speaking at the event, Minister of Health, Dr. Motsoaledi, said: "Diabetes is one of those diseases continuing to place a huge burden on our healthcare systems, not only in South Africa but in the continent as a whole. My department has taken a conscious decision to place this disease high on its agenda and I commit myself and my department to do everything in our power to minimise its impact in our society."
"My vision is to see a South Africa where no person loses their life because of lack of awareness about diabetes," said Ngema-Zuma. "I have seen the devastating effect of diabetes on the lives of people and their families - my mother lived with diabetes for 28 years before she passed on. My experience with the disease has inspired me to roll up my sleeves and fight this killer head on and help people take control of their health."
In addition to the Fun Walk, the event included such activities as screening and testing for diabetes and other associated diseases, provision of information booklets on diabetes, its treatment and care.
Third leading cause of deaths in SA
There are approximately 1.5 million South Africans living with diabetes and a further 4 million people in the country are at high risk of developing diabetes. An estimated 360 million people worldwide live with diabetes, according to the International Diabetes Federation.
Diabetes and its complications also rank as the third leading cause of deaths amongst South Africans. Through the World Diabetes Day, the Foundation is joining millions of other people worldwide to drive awareness in an effort to save millions of lives.
- (Bongi Ngema Zuma Foundation, Health24, November 2010)
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