We’re Inventing a New Way to Diagnose Diabetes in the Poorest Parts of the World
Thursday, June 19, 2014
Imagine a disease that cripples and blinds the infected after a few short years. A disease that affects mostly young adults and has no affordable treatment available. This disease is a reality for urban slum citizens, in the form of type-2 diabetes mellitus.
In 2013, diabetes caused 5.1 million deaths globally. Often referred to as a “disease of the wealthy,” diabetes is anything but, with the majority of diabetics living in low- and middle-income communities. In developed economies, it is easy to take for granted the luxury of easy access to diabetes treatment and care. However, this reality for a lucky few is not the reality for over 74 million urban slum dwellers around the world living with diabetes.
In low-income areas, diabetes is rarely detected until it has progressed to late stages, often leading to hypertension, stroke, blindness and kidney failure. And many of these individuals are doubly burdened: diabetes not only decreases productivity and an individual’s ability to earn an income, but it also places a strain on a family’s existing income. This forces the sick to forego beneficial expenditures such as education and healthy food, resulting in a vicious cycle of poverty and illness.
- Health Care