(2011; 11 pages)
The goal of Practical Pharmacy is to provide accessible, objective and accurate information on medicines issues for front-line health workers. In this issue we focus on Diabetes Mellitus (DM) a major global health problem in all age groups. The World Health Organization (WHO) estimated that in the year 2000 the prevalence of diabetes worldwide was 171 million. By the year 2030 the prevalence of diabetes is estimated to increase to 366 million, with over 15 million cases in Africa. An estimated 2.9 million people die from diabetes every year. Diabetes and its associated complications are emerging as critical public health problems everywhere. Few groups have been spared increases in the burden of diabetes, but those adopting western lifestyles, who have moved away from traditional diets, and who no longer do physically demanding work have been especially affected.
In Africa, where poverty is common and national health services are weak, families of people with diabetes often face enormous economic burdens in the day-to-day care of such patients. Further, even when money is not a barrier, medicines such as insulin are often not available. Gone are the days that diabetes was associated with the rich in society. The disease has since become a household problem to the rich, the poor and government alike. We invite you to read more about Diabetes Mellitus and learn how to manage it. We welcome your feedback to know if we have been successful in achieving our goal with this issue.