CAMPAIGN TO SCREEN 100 000 FOR DIABETES
80% of people living with diabetes unaware of their condition
In a preventative healthcare drive, the Independent Community Pharmacy Association (ICPA) has committed to screen 100 000 people for diabetes before the end of October.
This initiative forms part of the ICPA’s role as the representative of independent pharmacists in South Africa, who do not only have their customers’/patients’ best health interests at heart, but also value and support preventative and cost reduction actions of the broader healthcare industry.
“As a non-communicable or non-infectious disease, diabetes is a key health focus area in South Africa,” says Sham Moodley, ICPA’s chairperson. “Diabetes SA estimates that four to six million South Africans have diabetes, but 80% are unaware of their condition.
Having such a substantial number of undiagnosed patients out there is concerning and places a huge burden on both the government and private sector. “Not only are lives at stake but the cost burden has serious implications for our country,” says Sham. “To help address this situation, we partnered with the National Department of Health (NDOH) and Roche Products (Pty) Ltd (Diabetes care) to get patients screened and the data logged before November 2012.”
In order to provide meaningful data, ICPA invested in an online data capturing tool and , all participating ICPA members will offer FREE diabetes tests from 15 – 19 October.
By screening the targeted 100 000 patients and capturing the data, ICPA members aim to assist the government in their preventative healthcare strategy. “The ICPA screening has a specific focus, being to determine a person’s risk of developing Type 2 Diabetes within the next 10 years,” explains Sham. “Following the screening, the pharmacist or the clinic nurse will advise the patient appropriately – it might mean a need to change lifestyle or an urgent visit to the doctor.”
Evidence indicates that if people identified as high risk are given this information timeously and then implement appropriate lifestyle interventions, they are 60% less likely to progress to Type 2 diabetes.
“We are very excited about the role that independent pharmacy can play in South Africa. Pharmacy is not just about dispensing – it’s about proactively promoting healthcare in the communities that we serve.”
The Director General of NDOH, Malebona Precious Matsoso, supports the ICPA’s diabetes initiative and Roche has provided sponsorship for the screening of 100 000 people. Laura Waller explains that “Roche is committed to pharmacy and community pharmacy in particular. The burden of disease and the access to quality healthcare remains a key challenge across South Africa. To this end, Roche supports initiatives such as the ICPA Screening Project. Such initiatives empower patients by increasing disease awareness and improving disease knowledge.”
People interested in having a free diabetes screening 15-19 October should visit www.icpa.co.za for details of participating pharmacies.
NOTES TO THE EDITOR
• ICPA is an NGO which represents over 1 200 independent community pharmacies throughout South Africa, with membership consisting of one the largest pool of professional services in the healthcare sector, reaching both urban and rural South Africa.
• Roche Products (Pty) Ltd (Diabetes Care) is a pioneer in the development of blood glucose monitoring systems and a global leader for diabetes management systems and services. For over 35 years, the Accu-Chek brand has helped patients with diabetes to live life as normal and active as possible and empower healthcare professionals to manage their patients’ condition in an optimal way. For more information please visit www.accu-chek.co.za
• The National Department of Health has identified diabetes (together with cardiovascular disease, cancer and chronic respiratory diseases) as the main non- communicable diseases that should be prioritised as conditions of high burden. See www.doh.gov.za.
More Info: http://www.icpa.co.za
Sherpa Business Communications
Media enquiries: Amelia de Milander at 021 912 4071, 083 509 1801 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Content supported by Roche Products (Pty) Ltd, Diabetes Care division and the National Department of Health
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