Less than 35% of Burundians do diabetes screening

While we celebrate the World Diabetes Day, Burundians still suffer in silence because they do not do diabetes screening. Only less than 35% have done it.

Nkurunziza Innocent: People have to do diabetes screening twice a year

Nkurunziza Innocent: People have to do diabetes screening twice a year

The Burundians’ habit to go to hospital when seriously sick is a real handicap to fight diabetes.

Nkurunziza Innocent, chairman of PNILMCNT (Integrated National Program against Chronic and Non-Transferable Disease) says there is still a long way to go as the population has not yet understood the importance of doing diabetes screening. “Only 30 to 35% of Burundians have taken diabetes screening”.

Nkurunziza says according to researches conducted by medical students after the completion of their studies, 2 out of 5 hospitalised patients suffer from diabetes. He says this shows how the disease should be taken seriously “Burundians have to treat diabetes disease seriously. They are advised to do the screening at least twice a year”

The same doctor says pregnant women are the ones who are mostly tested “80% of pregnant women are screened during the first and second semesters of their pregnancy”. For women who develop gestational diabetes (specific type of diabetes that can develop in some women late in pregnancy), he advises that they should stay under the supervision of gynaecologists.

Nkurunziza says there are various causes of diabetes among them genetic reasons, malnutrition, some medicine and obesity.

He says even though he cannot guarantee to fight hereditary diabetes at100%, the latter can be reduced “We advise those who are about to be married to do a test. If both of them are persons with diabetes, we advise them to break their relationship so as to reduce risks of giving birth to children with diabetes. Children from a father with diabetes have 5% risks to get diabetes while a mother with diabetes can contaminate her children at 4%”, he says, adding that this category of hereditary diabetes represents only 5% of all patients.

He says the government in collaboration with different NGOs gives freely insulin and glucometers to people under 25 who suffer from diabetes. “We cannot cover the expenses of all persons with diabetes. We currently help children under 25 but there is a project under study to help old people as well”, he says

Nkurunziza advises the population to do physical activities so as to reduce sugar in their blood. “Everybody should do at least a 30 minute walk everyday”