Jan 24, 2020 in Medicine

Introduction

Non-communicable diseases, NCDs, have been recognized as important contributors to avoidable deaths today. Remarkably, diabetes causes significant deaths annually seeing that is ranked fourth after the heart disease, cancer, and the Alzheimer’s disease. Diabetes is a chronic lifelong metabolic disorder, which results from either insufficient insulin production by the pancreas or because the cells are not responding to the insulin already produced. Even though diabetes has previously been viewed as a disease of the affluent class, the trends have changed seeing that it has become a leading health challenge affecting all people regardless of class, age, or gender. The incidence rates of diabetes continue to increase because of many risk factors fuelled by poor lifestyles choices such as poor diets, inadequate body and cardiovascular exercises, smoking, and alcoholism. A significant number of deaths result from diabetes, and the numbers continue to gradually increase over the years. According to WHO-based reports, 1.3 million diabetes-related deaths were recorded in 2008. The number increased to 1.5 million deaths in 2012, and is expected to rise to 2 million deaths annually by 2030. These numbers show that the impacts of diabetes are so noteworthy to be ignored. The subject of diabetes as a healthcare challenge has been trending as a centre of debates in various health-cantered and general contexts. The quest for more information on diabetes has motivated this research, whose intention is to compare the problem of diabetes in Australia and Kenya.

 
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Comparing the Burden of Diabetes in Australia and Kenya

Diabetes has been branded as the epidemic of the 21st century and the biggest health challenge in many countries’ healthcare systems. In this context, we compare Australia and Kenya on the prevalence of diabetes. Australia and Kenya, just like many other countries around the world continue to face the challenge of increasing prevalence rates of diabetes. According to the Index Mundi, Australia was ranked position 171 in the world with a 4.08 percent prevalence while Kenya was ranked position 164 with a diabetes prevalence rate of 4.54 percent. The statistics were computed based on the percentage of adult diabetic population aged between 20 and 79 years. Diabetes in both countries is fuelled by risk factors such as obesity, poor diets, and lack of proper physical exercises.

Diabetes in Australia

Diabetes is one of the leading health problems in Australia, and a major contributor to death among the Australians. Diabetes is the fastest growing chronic conditions in Australia with its rate exceeding other chronic diseases such as the heart disease and cancer. Nearly 4 percent of the Australian population, equivalent to 990,000 people, are diabetic. The percentage has increased progressively from 1.5 percent in 1989, which implies that more Australians have been affected over the years. Approximately 3,000 new diabetes cases were recorded in 2011. The rate was estimated to be11 diabetes cases per 100,000 adult people. In the same year, more than 50 percent of the adult population was overweight. In fact, overweight has been recognized as an important factor that fuels diabetes. Pregnancy-related diabetes has also been identified as a common challenge among the Australians. According to the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare, almost 44,000 pregnant women were diagnosed with diabetes during pregnancy at a rate of1 case in 20 pregnancies between 2005 and 2007.

Diabetes in Kenya

In Kenya, the rate of prevalence of diabetes continues to rise among the minors, youths, and adults. Diabetes continues to be a leading death-causing non-communicable disease ahead of cancers and heart attacks. Diabetes-related deaths stood at 2 percent of all deaths caused by non-communicable diseases in 2010. Just like in Australia, the diabetes is fuelled by obesity, which is as a result of poor lifestyle choices such as lack of physical exercises, poor diets, and excessive alcoholism and smoking. According to the Kenya Diabetes Management and Information Centre, it is estimated that diabetes prevalence rates vary between 2.7 and 10.7 percent in rural and urban settings correspondingly. However, the real numbers of people affected by diabetes are unknown as many cases are not reported, and data from many regions is not available.

Complications caused by Diabetes

If diabetes is not sufficiently controlled, it is likely that some related health problems emerge. They affect body parts such as the heart, kidneys, nerves, eyes, and other body parts. Time and again, people with diabetes never understand that they are affected by diabetes until they suffer from these related health problems. Various complications are associated with diabetes, and among the leading is the heart disease. Diabetes patients are at a greater risks of getting the heart disease and other cardiac diseases. Secondly are eye complications. Diabetes patients are likely to suffer from eye problems such as partial or complete loss of sight, cataracts, and other vision related problems. Thirdly is the kidney disease. Diabetes may affect the kidneys in the long run with the outcomes being kidney failure and eventual death. Finally is the complication of nerve damage. Diabetes affects the nerves that run throughout the body leading to numbness and complete or partial paralysis. Other probable complications include skin problems, dental diseases, and foot problems.

Conclusion

The paper compared the burden of diabetes in Australia and Kenya. It has noted that diabetes continues to be a leading health challenge in both countries, just as it is in many other countries. The condition is fuelled by risk factors such as obesity, lack of physical exercises, poor diets, smoking, and excessive drinking. Australia has an estimated diabetes prevalence rate of 4.08 percent while Kenya has a rate of 4.54. Australia and Kenya are ranked positions 171 and 164 respectively. Presently, the condition continues to affect more children, youths, and adults in both countries. The paper has also discussed the complications caused by diabetes, and among the probable ones include the heart disease, eye complications, kidney failure, nerve damages, and skin complications among others. Healthcare agencies in both countries continue to invest in research and efforts to stop the health threat. The condition can be controlled through proper dieting, regular physical exercises, and better stress management.

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