plans to enhance screening of diabetes to improve treatment of the
disease that is on the rise as the country witnesses fast
urbanization and changing lifestyles, officials said on Saturday.
Sicily Kariuki, Cabinet Secretary in the Ministry of Health, said
that approximately 60 percent of Kenyans with diabetes are not aware
they have the ailment and this leads to late diagnosis.
“We therefore want to roll out a sensitization campaign to enhance
early detection of diabetes as part of plans to achieve universal
health coverage,” Kariuki said in Nairobi during the annual Diabetes
Management and Information Center walk that aims to raise funds for
treatment of children living with the condition.
Kariuki noted that the government was concerned about diabetes as it
was once associated with the affluent but is now common among the
low-income segment of the population.
Data from the ministry of health indicates that about 5 percent of
Kenyans are affected by the chronic illness with one in ten people
with diabetes being children. The population of Kenya stands at
about 45 million.
Joseph Kibachio, head of division of non-communicable diseases in
the health ministry, said Kenya is witnessing a rise in the cases of
diabetes due to changing lifestyles that are characterized by lack
of physical activity coupled with unhealthy diets.
Kibachio said that urbanization has led to increased uptake of
processed foods and a move away from diets rich in fiber and
He said that the government is focusing on preventive measures given
the high cost of treating diabetes.
Chinese telecom giant Huawei has donated 500,000 Kenyan shillings to
this year’s Diabetes Walk, making it one of the major sponsors of
this year’s event.
The annual event is aimed at raising awareness of diabetes, with the
funds collected used to pay for the supply of free insulin to