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2011-11-08: Joburg commemorating World Diabetes Day over the Mandela bridge

THE City of Johannesburg and Diabetes South Africa has planned a number of activities as part of the World Diabetes Day taking place on 14 November 2011.

2011 marks the 3rd year of the five-year focus on "Diabetes education and Prevention", which is the theme selected by the International Diabetes Federation and the World Health Organization for World Diabetes Day 2009 – 2013.The campaign slogan is: "Act on Diabetes Now"

Diabetes is a chronic condition that arises when pancreas does not produce enough insulin, or when the body cannot effectively use the insulin it produces. Insulin is a hormone made by the pancreas that enables cells to take in glucose from blood and use it for energy.

 "As a build-up towards to the events around World Diabetes Day, the City of Johannesburg will be conducting health education on diabetes, screening for diabetes (checking blood sugar levels), blood pressure, cholesterol, weight check, and eye screening in all seven regions of the city. On Monday, 14 November 2011, Diabetes South Africa and the City of Johannesburg will light the Nelson Mandela Bridge in Blue for people living with Diabetes", says Clr Nonceba Molwele, Member of the Mayoral Committee for Health and Social Development in the City of Johannesburg.  

"We want to create an awareness of healthy living through educating the city’s residents on the importance of maintaining a balanced lifestyle", says Molwele.

There are two main types of diabetes: Type one diabetes is an autoimmune disease characterized by the destruction of the insulin-producing cells in the pancreas. Consequently, people with type one diabetes produce very little or no insulin and must take insulin by injection or insulin pump to survive. Type one diabetes, which used to be called juvenile-onset diabetes, is most commonly diagnosed in young adults.

Type two diabetes is marked by insulin resistance. People with type two diabetes cannot use the insulin that they produce effectively. They can often manage their condition through exercise and diet. However, in many cases oral drugs are needed and often insulin is required.

Constant thirst, weight loss, frequent urination and fatigue are warning signs of diabetes. Blurred vision, slow-to-heal cuts, tingling or numbness in the hands and feet, and recurring skin, mouth and bladder infections could all be signs that you have diabetes.

Foods that have a high sugar or fat content, such as pastries, cakes, chocolates, chips, sweets and desserts should be avoided. If eaten at all, it should be in very small quantities. Stay away from oily sauces and high-fat dairy products. Low-fat proteins, whole-wheat grains, fruit and vegetables, starches and low-fat dairy products are recommended.

Go for a simple urine and blood tests at your local clinic or doctor. This will indicate if you have diabetes and require additional examination and treatment. Talk to a health worker about your results. They will explain how your diabetes can be controlled. Some people will require to take pills or insulin injections to control their diabetes. Many individuals can also control their diabetes by controlling their food intake (diet) and doing regular exercise.

Remember you can control diabetes. For further information please visit your nearest clinic. If you are a Diabetic – subscribe with "Diabetic South Africa" - telephone: (011) 792 9888

For more information contact:
Nkosinathi Nkabinde                                        
Communications Specialist                                          
City of Johannesburg Public Liaison Department                             
Tel: (011) 407 – 6477
Cell: 083 408 7787