ANNUAL SAFARICOM DIABETES WALK MARKS 11TH YEAR

June 29th 2015… Safaricom, in partnership with the Diabetes Management and Information (DMI) Center, today launched the 11th edition of the Safaricom Diabetes Walk. The annual walk aims to raise awareness on the need for early detection and management of diabetes, as well as raise funds for the prevention and treatment of the condition especially among low income households.

In 2013, an estimated 1.8 million Kenyans were living with the condition, with over 15,000 diabetes-related adult deaths recorded in the same year. A report by International Diabetes Federation Atlas 2014 further states that Kenya recorded 775,200 new cases of diabetes in that year alone, with those living with the condition being between the ages of 20 and 79 years.

Speaking during the launch Safaricom CEO Bob Collymore emphasized the need for continuous sensitization of communities on how to identify symptoms of the disease as well as care for those living with the condition.

“Years ago we used to think that diabetes was a disease that affected only the older ones among us, but more young people especially between the ages of 8 and 18 years are now being diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes,” he said. “It is time to double our efforts to limit the prevalence of the condition, educate people on how to prevent it where possible and manage it if already living with diabetes.

This year the walk aims to raise Ksh. 25 million, up from the Ksh. 16 million targeted in 2014.  In addition to funding the distribution of insulin kits to more children in need the monies will be used to educate more primary and secondary school teachers on how to care for students with the condition, as well as holding community health camps to eradicate the stigma surrounding people living with diabetes.

“The cost of managing diabetes remains the biggest hindrance to enabling those with the condition live normal lives,” said Mrs. Eva Muchemi, Executive Director of DMI Centre. “We hope that through our continued efforts, we will not only be able to stock the insulin bank and provide free insulin kits to those who need them, but influence the price of insulin to make it affordable to more people.”

It’s predicted that diabetes could become the 7th leading cause of deaths around the world by 2030 if not managed properly, with developing counties expected to be hit hardest. Diabetes prevalence in Kenya is currently estimated at 4.7 per cent of the population. However, a recent estimate by the Kenya Medical Research Institute (KEMRI) places prevalence as high as 10 per cent by 2030.

“We are pleased to be partnering with Safaricom and DMI in this initiative, and we appreciate that their efforts have led to increased awareness over the last couple of years,” said Dr. Nicholas Muraguri, Director of Medical Services in the Ministry of Health. “Their focus on public sensitization as well as educating parents and teachers who care for children living with the condition has truly complimented government efforts to manage the disease, and we are pleased that these efforts have also increased interest in voluntary screening.”

In the last year the DMI Centre has trained 120 teachers in primary and secondary schools and held training sessions for religious and social groups. The Centre currently supports over 350 children from low income households, who receive insulin, with a minimum of 50 patients per month.

This year’s walk aims to raise funds to raise more awareness about how to prevent diabetes, to increase the number of patients who are diagnosed early, train more teachers on how to handle students with the condition, and provide more insulin kits to more patients.

June 29th 2015… Safaricom, in partnership with the Diabetes Management and Information (DMI) Center, today launched the 11th edition of the Safaricom Diabetes Walk. The annual walk aims to raise awareness on the need for early detection and management of diabetes, as well as raise funds for the prevention and treatment of the condition especially among low income households.

In 2013, an estimated 1.8 million Kenyans were living with the condition, with over 15,000 diabetes-related adult deaths recorded in the same year. A report by International Diabetes Federation Atlas 2014 further states that Kenya recorded 775,200 new cases of diabetes in that year alone, with those living with the condition being between the ages of 20 and 79 years.

Speaking during the launch Safaricom CEO Bob Collymore emphasized the need for continuous sensitization of communities on how to identify symptoms of the disease as well as care for those living with the condition.

“Years ago we used to think that diabetes was a disease that affected only the older ones among us, but more young people especially between the ages of 8 and 18 years are now being diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes,” he said. “It is time to double our efforts to limit the prevalence of the condition, educate people on how to prevent it where possible and manage it if already living with diabetes.

This year the walk aims to raise Ksh. 25 million, up from the Ksh. 16 million targeted in 2014.  In addition to funding the distribution of insulin kits to more children in need the monies will be used to educate more primary and secondary school teachers on how to care for students with the condition, as well as holding community health camps to eradicate the stigma surrounding people living with diabetes.

“The cost of managing diabetes remains the biggest hindrance to enabling those with the condition live normal lives,” said Mrs. Eva Muchemi, Executive Director of DMI Centre. “We hope that through our continued efforts, we will not only be able to stock the insulin bank and provide free insulin kits to those who need them, but influence the price of insulin to make it affordable to more people.”

It’s predicted that diabetes could become the 7th leading cause of deaths around the world by 2030 if not managed properly, with developing counties expected to be hit hardest. Diabetes prevalence in Kenya is currently estimated at 4.7 per cent of the population. However, a recent estimate by the Kenya Medical Research Institute (KEMRI) places prevalence as high as 10 per cent by 2030.

“We are pleased to be partnering with Safaricom and DMI in this initiative, and we appreciate that their efforts have led to increased awareness over the last couple of years,” said Dr. Nicholas Muraguri, Director of Medical Services in the Ministry of Health. “Their focus on public sensitization as well as educating parents and teachers who care for children living with the condition has truly complimented government efforts to manage the disease, and we are pleased that these efforts have also increased interest in voluntary screening.”

In the last year the DMI Centre has trained 120 teachers in primary and secondary schools and held training sessions for religious and social groups. The Centre currently supports over 350 children from low income households, who receive insulin, with a minimum of 50 patients per month.

This year’s walk aims to raise funds to raise more awareness about how to prevent diabetes, to increase the number of patients who are diagnosed early, train more teachers on how to handle students with the condition, and provide more insulin kits to more patients.

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