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The City of Johannesburg has over the past few days been conducting health education on diabetes in all its seven regions as part of its build-up to World Diabetes Day on Thursday November 20.

More than 1 000 people are expected to attend a diabetes awareness campaign at the Don Mateman Hall in Eldorado Park Extension 5, Region G, to mark the day. The World Diabetes Day campaign, led by the International Diabetes Federation, is usually held on November 14 every year to engage millions of people around the globe in diabetes advocacy and awareness.

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

The City’s World Diabetes Day campaign marks the first of a three-year-old focus on healthy living and diabetes. The activities and this year’s literature materials will address the topic of healthy eating and its importance in the prevention of Type 2 diabetes and its management to avoid complications. “We want to create awareness of healthy living by educating the City’s residents on the importance of maintaining a balanced lifestyle. You can prevent and control diabetes if you exercise and eat healthy,” says MMC for Health and Social Development Councillor Nonceba Molwele.

The City has, in the weeks leading up to World Diabetes Day, been conducting health education on diabetes. It also conducted blood pressure, cholesterol and eye tests.

The following are usually associated with diabetes:

Constant thirst;
Weight loss;
Frequent urination, and
Blurred vision, slow-to-heal cuts, tingling sensation or numbness in the hands and feet, and recurring skin, mouth and bladder infections could all be signs that you have diabetes. Foods with high sugar levels should be avoided or taken in moderation. Low-fat dairy products, lean meat, whole-wheat grains, fruit and vegetables, starches and low-fat dairy products are recommended, and should be taken in correct portion.

Go for simple urine and blood tests at your local clinic or doctor. This will indicate if you have diabetes and require additional examination and treatment.​