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Government concerned with raising diabetes cases in Kenya

By Stanley Kimuge November 14th, 2023 2 min read

The government has expressed concerns over the growing rate of diabetes in Kenya.

Government records indicate more than 2.1 million Kenyans are diagnosed with diabetes with only 40% currently under treatment.

And in a related development, 87% of Kenyans do not know the status of their blood sugar.

Health Cabinet Secretary Susan Nakhumicha disclosed that 350,000 Kenyans with the condition are not able to access treatment due to the high cost of treatment and access to medication.

She made the remarks in Iten, Elgeyo Marakwet County on November 14, 2023, during the World Diabetes Day commemoration and launch of 2006 community health promoters in the county.

“We are concerned that the care and treatment is not affordable and accessible to many Kenyans but it is encouraging that this condition is treatable and manageable. This calls for collaborations between governments and other partners,” said the CS who was accompanied by Dr Patrick Amoth, the acting Director General of Health in the Ministry of Health.

Elgeyo Marakwet Governor Wisely Rotich was also present.

The CS stressed that the government was banking on community health promoters to conduct screening at the community level and refer the patients to health facilities for treatment.

On October 20, 2023, the government unveiled 100,000 community health promoters to promote primary health care in the country.

The CS said the country will have over 315 primary care networks as the government seeks to provide universal health coverage to all Kenyans.

She explained that more than 4,000 children and adolescents living with diabetes are given insulin and other services for free in various health facilities.

The CS called on Kenyans to engage in physical activities and lead a healthy lifestyle to lower the disease burden in the country.

“Everyone is encouraged to eat a healthy diet with less refined sugar, low sugar and fats, and plenty of fruits and physical exercise. As Kenyans, we also need to stop tobacco use and binge drinking,” said the CS.

She appealed to governors to support the health promoters to spearhead the health services at the community level.

Governor Wisely Rotich stated that the county had stepped up surveillance of non-communicable diseases to reduce the disease burden among the residents.

“We are concerned that for every 1000, 14 people are diagnosed with diabetes. At the county referral hospital, we are registering over 400 new cases,” said the county boss.

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