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Epidemiological profile of diabetes

Like most low- and middle-income countries, Cameroon is in an epidemiological transition phase and is therefore experiencing an increase in chronic non-communicable diseases (NCDs) such as diabetes. Diabetes is a disease that results in an abnormally high level of sugar in the blood. That is to say, a glycemia greater than 1.2g / l on an empty stomach or 2g / l after two hours of meals. There are two types of diabetes, type 2 being much more common than type 1 (Trusted Source: 01)

Diabetes Mortality and Morbidity

Not only has the prevalence of diabetes been underestimated for a long time in the absence of a framework for harmonizing diagnostic criteria such as that offered by the WHO recommendations, the American Diabetes Association (ADA), and the National Diabetes Data Group of the USA, but it is now experiencing meteoric growth in many developing countries, especially those of sub-Saharan Africa. With an estimated 7,146 people affected, it is believed that by 2030, 18,645 people will suffer from diabetes in Sub-Saharan Africa.

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In Cameroon, the figures remained low for a long time, with prevalences estimated at 2.8 in urban areas and 1.1 in rural areas [Mbanya, 1994] but another study carried out in 2006 showed prevalences increased tenfold with a prevalence in humans of 6.5% without distinction of living environment in 2003 and a prevalence varying between 8.5% in urban areas and 5% in rural areas among women.

As in Tanzania and Ghana, 60 to 80% of the Cameroonian population lives without knowledge of their diabetes status. The morbidity rate is estimated at 7.2% according to a study carried out at the Yaoundé Central Hospital. It should be noted that the increase in these figures concerns both adults and children. Indeed,

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Type 2 diabetes is strongly linked to obesity. The progression of diabetes follows a parallel course to that of obesity with spectacular growth in developing countries. Its morbidity is also increased in the presence of hypertension. Indeed, 60% of diabetics suffer from arterial hypertension [Katte et al., 2014; Nanfack et al., 2012].

The classic complications of diabetes are observed in Africa as well as in Europe but their severity is much greater in Africa due to the initial ignorance of the disease, its late management, difficulties in accessing quality care. and intercurrent transmissible diseases which regularly worsen the pathology. The socio-economic burden caused by this disease makes it very difficult to manage it and strongly contributes to the increase in its morbidity and mortality.


Studies have found that the direct costs of caring for a diabetic are around 25% of gross national income per capita in the 12 rich countries and 125% in the 34 poorest countries around the world. The total cost, that is to say, direct and indirect, would represent in poor countries more than double the gross national income per capita (Conference of Ministers of Health).

Therapeutic education and means of prevention, improvement of generic prescriptions on the part of practitioners, support for these treatments such as that practiced for HIV / AIDS drugs are for all these reasons, as many efficient interventions that can improve the management of diabetes in our context and that of developing countries.

Written by Dr. Ozair (CEO of SignSymptom.com) as physician writers are physicians who write creatively in fields outside their practice of medicine.

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