About 12 million people will develop diabetes in Africa by the year 2025, with an average increment of 140 percent, says Kidney Foundation of Zambia secretary Augustine Mukuka.
Mr Mukuka said with over 135million people currently diabetic globally, the figure was expected to rise to over 300million people by 2025 with majority affecting the developing world.
He explained that there was need for increased sensitization on the effects of diabetes as well as control measures which could protect patients from getting other medical complications as a result of the disease.
“There are 135 million diabetics world-wide, with a projected increase to 300 million by 2025 and 170 percent will be in developing countries ,40per cent in developed countries.
He said detection of kidney disease was done by laboratory testing of the urine and blood.
“Albumin leak is the earliest parameter warning of kidney damage. Subsequently the urea and creatinine rise in the blood indicate the severity of kidney failure,
“It is unfortunate that still many patients are detected at this late stage and not at the early stage of albumin leak when corrective measures can be taken. An important marker of possible kidney damage in a diabetic individual is reduced vision due to retinopathy.
He said many people did not realize they had kidney disease until it was too late because the body had capacity to adapt itself with one kidney functioning until damage reached up to 90 percent.
Mr Mukuka said the foundation was involved in a lot of public awareness programmes on kidney disease but was calling on more publicity by Government and other health interest groups to help expose the disease and ways of preventing it.
He said diabetics were all at risk of kidney disease and must be made aware of the stages and symptoms of acute and chronic illness in order to address the lifestyle changes surrounding the condition.
“Acute means a sudden reduction in the kidney function due to reduced blood supply following dehydration due to conditions like gastroenteritis, heart attack or blood loss.
If the underlying disease is not rapidly corrected, the patient may die. On the contrary if the underlying disease is corrected, the patient recovers fully and may require only temporary dialysis.
“Chronic is mostly the form that of diabetes that affects the middle aged or elderly population.
High blood pressure is also an important reason and can add with diabetes to produce a bad outcome. Both the above conditions slowly affect the kidney over the years,” he explained.
Mr Mukuka advised patients with diabetes and kidney disease to attend all medical appointments, have their blood pressure and blood sugar checked frequently and also to quit smoking in case they did.