Diabetes is a chronic disease caused by the body’s inability to produce required amounts of insulin – the hormone that regulates blood sugar – or to efficiently use the insulin it produces, according to the World Health Organisation. These are called type 1 and type 2 diabetes respectively.
In 2015, it was the 6th leading cause of death in lower and middle income countries.
WHO notes that over the past decade, the prevalence of diabetes has risen faster in low and middle-income countries than in high-income ones. It estimates that in 2014, about 25 million people in sub-Saharan Africa were living with the disease, up from 4 million in 1980.
If not well controlled, diabetes may cause blindness, kidney failure and lead to limb amputation, in addition to other long-term consequences.