With 1.3 million living with diabetes in KwaZulu-Natal, communities are heeding the call for healthy living to combat this pandemic.

Over a thousand people participated in a Durban Wellness Festival to further increase awareness against this scourge.

Diabetes is the second highest cause of death in South Africa after tuberculosis.

 

44-year-old Adele Swart is a living testimony.

Having lost her leg due to diabetes, this hasn’t stopped this mother of two from living her life to the fullest.

“I developed diabetes when I was 15 years, so I have had it for 38 years – and this only happened over a course of five years. I had a blister on my toe and it never got better.”

Awareness around the disease is strongly emphasised among young people as most Type 1 patients contract it at a very young age.

Jenny Russel, Managing director of Diabetes SA says: “In KZN we have 1.3 million diabetes diagnosed in the state system alone and we are the second largest cause of death across the country and we are having six amputations per day which is absolutely unacceptable.”

The misconceptions that sugar is the main cause of diabetes is putting many patients at risk.

Dietician Julie Peacock elaborates: “There is a common misconception still that sugar causes diabetes which is incorrect. Nine times out of 10 type 2 diabetes is brought on from being obese, eating sugar, eating badly and not exercising well enough.”

The festival ended with a 5 km fun walk.