(Xinhua) -- A World Health Organization (WHO)
official on Tuesday urged Kenyans to embrace indigenous foods in
order to tame rising cases of diabetes.
“Kenyans should embrace indigenous
foods which tend to be organic and rich in fiber and vitamins in
order reduce cases of diabetes,” Joyce Nato, national
professional officer in charge of non-communicable diseases at
WHO Kenya, said during the launch of the Report of the Kitale
Diabetic Retinopathy Study.
Diabetic retinopathy is a diabetes
complication that affects the eyes and could lead to blindness.
Nato said more than 80 percent of
diabetes deaths occur in low and middle income countries and
over 80 percent of people live with visual impairments in these
She added that diabetic retinopathy is
the fifth leading cause of visual impairment and the forth
leading cause of blindness in the world.
Michael Gichangi, head of Ophthalmic
Services Unit at the Ministry of Health, said approximately 4
percent of Kenyans are affected by diabetes, with 16 percent of
the affected having diabetic retinopathy.
Gichangi said diabetic retinopathy is
a growing cause of vision loss in Kenya, yet this vision loss
can be delayed or prevented if diabetic retinopathy is detected
and treated early.
The Ministry of Health intends to
screen all diabetes patients to ensure that they are not
affected by the diabetic retinopathy.
“Screening has been shown to be
effective in detecting early diabetic eye disease,” he said.