The epidemic of diabetes in sub-Saharan Africa
A recent report published in The Lancet finds that health systems in sub-Saharan Africa are largely unprepared to deal with that region’s rapidly expanding epidemic of diabetes. According to the Lancet Diabetes & Endocrinology Commission nearly a quarter of adults in some countries now have diabetes, but only half of those with diabetes are diagnosed, and of those, only 1 in 10 are receiving treatment. More than 90% of cases of diabetes in sub-Saharan Africa are type 2 diabetes, suggesting that modifiable risk factors are major contributors to the burden of disease. In this week’s podcast we’ll speak with Rifat Atun, professor of global health systems at Harvard Chan School and one of three lead authors of the report. Atun will explain what’s driving this rapid increase in diabetes and what health systems can do to respond effectively.