WORLD DIABETES DAY CHAT NOVEMBER 14, 2013.
According to the International Diabetes Federation, health in sub-Saharan Africa has been traditionally dominated by infectious disease, HIV/AIDS, and poverty. With rapid urbanisation, non-communicable diseases (NCDs) like diabetes are quickly becoming a new priority for health in the region. As urbanisation increases and the population ages, diabetes will pose an even greater threat.
In 2011, 14.7 million adults in the Africa Region are estimated to have diabetes, with a regional prevalence of 3.8%. The range of prevalence (%) figures between countries reflects the rapid transition communities in the region are facing. The highest prevalence of diabetes in the Africa Region is in the island of Réunion (16.3 %), followed by Seychelles (12.4%), Botswana (11.1%) and Gabon (10.6%). Some of Africa’s most populous countries also have the highest number of people with diabetes, with Nigeria having the largest number (3.0 million), followed by South Africa (1.9 million), Ethiopia (1.4 million), and Kenya (769,000).
Africa is currently the second largest mobile phone market after Asia, with more than 700 million mobile connections and a projected rise to almost 1 billion by 2016. More people on the continent have been introduced to the internet via mobile phones, and currently, Africa’s mobile data usage amounts to 14.85% of the total internet traffic – second only to Asia. In view of this, social media health platforms are rising with social media becoming an integral part of modern society fostering a more intense, engaging and democratic discussion. Social media has moved beyond being a tool for young individuals to share their private lives (pictures, messages) to fostering serious discussion on technology, health and business.
The diabetes online community in Africa started up with Nigeria and South Africa joining in the world diabetes day 16hour twitter chat in 2012 organized by the Diabetes Social Media Advocacy in the United States of America, (http://diabetessocmed.com/). This chat featured about 6 countries, 449 participants, about 5 thousand Tweets, 6million impressions and reaching over 14 million people.
With Africa’s mobile subscriber base estimated to grow annually by a significant 30 percent, utilization of social media in establishing online health peer support communities in Nigeria and Africa has helped create awareness, educate and act as a great social media peer support.
To celebrate this year’s World Diabetes Day (WDD) on November 14, the Global Diabetes Communities spearheaded by The Diabetes Community Advocacy Foundation formerly Diabetes Social Media Advocacy is coordinating a 24 hour global twitter chat for diabetes awareness and to celebrate the world diabetes day.
This 24hour twitter chat which will involve diabetes organizations like the Australian Diabetes online community, Blueprint Barbados,100 Campaign, Great Britain Diabetes online community, diabetes daily , diabetes hand foundation and the Nigeria diabetes online community aims at achieving a global conversation on the state of diabetes care.
The Nigeria Diabetes online community will be moderating the chat from 3pm-4pm E.S.T (9pm-10pm local time) and we will be discussing the Theme: Diabetes Prevention and Care in Nigeria: the past, present and future.
This is a clarion call to all people living with diabetes, diabetes advocates, and health care providers, government health agencies to join the global diabetes movement and get their voices heard.
The Chat will run from 0:00hrs -24:00hrs E.S.T (5am Nov 14- 5am Nov 15 local time). Join the Nigeria diabetes online community from 8pm-9pm Nov 14 as we discuss issues pertaining to diabetes in the continent.
Adejumo Olamide Hakeem