Diabetes: exposing the silent killer

Friday, November 19, 2010

Pretoria - The community of Winterveld, north of Pretoria, will be mobilised into taking steps to learn about diabetes, which is the third leading cause of death among South Africans.

Health Minister Aaron Motsoaledi and first lady Bongi Ngema-Zuma - who have established a foundation dedicated to fighting poverty - will visit Winterveld to raise awareness about the condition, which is dubbed as the silent killer in medical circles.

The event will be preceded by a 4km walk through the streets of Winterveld while there will also be a screening and testing for diabetes and other non-communicable diseases.

South Africa has an estimated 1.5 million people who live with diabetes, while worldwide the figure is about 300 million.

While Type 1 diabetes remains quite rare, Type 2 cases continue to be on the rise. Both types share many of the same symptoms.

Symptoms include, but are not limited to, frequent urination, unquenchable thirst, losing weight without trying, weakness and fatigue, tingling or numbness in the hands, legs and feet.