NAIROBI, Oct. 14 (Xinhua) -- Kenya on Monday urged improved data collection in order to boost the fight against diabetes whose prevalence is on the rise amid changing dietary habits.
Zachary Muruiki, program officer of diabetes prevention and control program at the Ministry of Health said that lack of accurate data is to blame for low funding and poor management of diabetes in Kenya and the Sub-Saharan African region.
He urged clinicians to start building data to enable governments to allocate funding towards the management of diabetes that is also a leading cause of death among children.
"Diabetes can be treated successfully with support from the available data," Muruiki said during the launch of Africa diabetes pacesetters initiative in Nairobi.
He said that a program such as Universal Health Coverage requires data to inform its implementation that equally need commensurate allocation of resources.
Muruiki challenged doctors to facilitate the process by documenting data collected in health facilities and sharing the same with the national health data registry.
"We need to equip our national health data registry with all the findings from the healthcare facilities so that we can intervene effectively and respond to the needs on the ground with assistance from the clinicians who are the main interface with our patients, "said Muruiki.
He said that Kenya is committed to having strategic public-private partnerships with relevant stakeholders in the health sector to implement programs and initiatives that improve quality and comprehensive diabetes care.
The Africa diabetes pacesetters initiative that will run for three years aims at building capacity among physicians in diabetes care in the continent. It has representation from 15 countries in the continent.
Mary Ngome, clinical medical regulatory quality manager at Novo Nordisk said the initiative will work to create a Pan-African platform for best practice sharing and networking to defeat diabetes.
"We cannot underestimate the increasing role of real-world data and real world evidence in informing policy and healthcare decisions," said Ngome.
She said that Novo Nordisk aims to equip powerful voices with the tools and skills needed to ensure that research and publication on diabetes in Sub-Sahara Africa is strengthened through the initiative.
"The launch of this initiative will build additional healthcare capacity and strengthen advocacy through scientific communication and real world evidence generation in Africa since chronic diseases such as diabetes are posing an increased threat to health of majority within communities," said Ngome.
Diabetes is one of the non-communicable diseases on the rise in Africa.
One of the key issues with delayed diabetes diagnosis is the increased risk of complications such as kidney damage, heart disease, blindness, neural damage leading to amputations and an overall reduced life expectancy.
These late stage complications are also the most costly to treat and can impact the financial situation of an entire family as well as halting overall economic development.