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Diabetes association targets children

ZDA chairman Ngoni Chigwana said the expansion will see the programme reaching four parts of the country that were previously not covered.
The drugs being distributed under the programme include Protothane HM (ge), Actratid HM (ge) and actrathane.

International Diabetes Federation, which is an umbrella board for diabetes associations in the world, is supplying the drugs.

“We will be expanding this programme to Mutare, Marondera, Chiredzi and Gwanda and if funds allow, we are going to continue to expand our coverage,” Chigwana said in an interview.

“Currently only 246 children from Harare, Masvingo, Bulawayo, Chinhoyi and Bindura were being assisted with the drugs.

“But due to the increase in cases of diabetes in children it has resulted in the expansion of the programme.”

Diabetes in children comes with different signs and symptoms which include frequent urination, excessive thirst, increased hunger, weight loss, vomiting and stomach pains as well as lack of concentration.

 

Experts are blaming the increasing cases of children with diabetes to changing lifestyles.

Chigwana said children in urban areas no longer had access to recreational facilities, which meant that they no longer exercised regularly.

“These days kids are spending most of their time watching television as well as playing computer games and the type of food which children are eating is also affecting them since most of it is junk,” he said.

Chigwana encouraged parents to take an active interest in their children’s eating habits and how they spend their day.

Traditionally, diabetes had been considered a disease of adults.

ZDA is now carrying out a number of awareness programmes to alert people that the disease can also affect children.

“We are going around schools educating children and teachers on all aspects to do with diabetes,” said Chigwana.

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