Today, 14 November 2020 is World Diabetes day. As someone who is Diabetic 2, I understand the danger of not knowing what your status are. It sounds ominous but it is not, you can control your blood sugar by eating the correct food and avoid sugar!
Below is a message from Premier Alan Winde for World Diabetes Day.
Today, we mark World Diabetes Day which is observed around the world, to raise awareness about the illness which impacts millions of people around the globe.
As a diabetic myself, this is a cause close to my heart.
When diabetes is not properly managed, it can result in other serious health issues such as blindness, kidney failure, heart attacks, stroke, and lower limb amputation.
We also know that diabetics are the highest risk group for serious illness and death if they contract Covid-19.
For this reason, the Western Cape Government introduced the VECTOR (Virtual Emergency Care Tactical Operation) programme on 17 July. We recruited doctors who would consult telephonically with diabetic patients who had tested positive for Covid-19, recommending that those who were at highest risk be admitted to one of our facilities for observation. For the lower risk diabetics, and those who declined admission, the team checks in daily to monitor their health and their blood sugar levels.
Between the launch of the Vector programme and 30 October, 1786 patients have been placed on the programme. Of these, 1488 had fully recovered by 30 October 2020. We also saw a significant decline in the death rates associated with this group, which were at about 28% prior to our interventions, and fell to below 5% within the first month of operations.
In addition to the Vector programme, our chronic medicine deliveries have also delivered medications to all stable chronic patients at their homes. This allowed us to ensure that vulnerable groups like diabetics, receive life saving medications, while also reducing their risk of infections.
The theme for World Diabetes Day this year is The Nurse and Diabetes so I would like to pay tribute to all of those hard working nurses, community healthcare workers, and also the doctors in the Vector team who have been on the frontlines providing care to diabetic patients throughout the Covid-19 pandemic.
In the years since I was diagnosed as a diabetic, and during the time that I had Covid-19, I have experienced the care and support of the nurses and healthcare workers in this province.
Nurses and community healthcare workers also play an important role in the day to day management of diabetes- providing care, support and advice on how to manage the illness through healthy lifestyle habits.
A healthy and balanced diet, and regular exercise can reduce the risk of diabetes, as well as other illnesses such as obesity, and hypertension, which are also commonly found in conjunction with diabetes. The Western Cape Department of Health’s World of Wellness programme promotes a healthy and active lifestyle as a way to prevent or manage these illnesses.
The following are common warning signs of diabetes. If you are experiencing one or more of them, you should visit your local healthcare facility to be tested for diabetes:
- Extreme thirst
- Frequent urination
- Weight loss
- Urine smelling sweet
- Blurred vision
- Poor wound healing
The Western Cape Government has identified dignity and wellbeing as one of the key pillars of our recovery, and ensuring that citizens are healthy, and able to manage conditions such as diabetes, will help us to ensure their continued wellbeing.
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