Nairobi News


Diabetes cases among Nairobi children on the rise

A doctor has warned of increased lifestyle diseases in children in Nairobi due to lack of enough play.

Dr Thomas Ngwiri, a paediatrician at Getrudes Children’s Hospital has predicted a health crisis in the next 10 to 15 years if the matter is not addressed urgently.

“I fear we are staring at massive cases of diabetes, heart diseases, obesity and many complications,” said Dr Ngwiri, a specialist in endocrine ailments.

The inaction in children has been attributed to lack of playgrounds as most of the spaces meant for this have been grabbed.

Ngwiri said contrary to the current situation where diseases like diabetes are mostly associated with the elderly, it would not be surprising to have 20-year-olds with such conditions.

“Unless efforts are made to have our children play, we must prepare for more of these diseases even in toddlers and teenagers,” he warned.

He urged county governments to implement the law on playing bays in residential areas.

“Play is therapeutic and so when kids do not let off excess steam in the field, they become aggressive, violent or develop tantrums,” he said.

“County officials must look into this if at all they mean well for the future of our city,” he added. Most city children only get to play during school days and forget about it when on recess much as they might want to.

But Mr David Maina, an investor in the real estate business, said the growing demand for housing units has largely fueled this rush for space, denying children where to play hide and seek and other games.

“As an investor, you always think of how to maximize profit after buying your plot, there is usually little room for playing areas as this is seen as wastage of space,” he argues

Mr blamed tenants for the existing situation.