The cost of diabetes will affect negatively on the country’s health budget if more awareness is not created around the illness. This is according to Dr Neville Wellington who uses low carbohydrate lifestyles to help in treating diabetic patients.

Wellington says diabetes is a very expensive disease to treat as it leads to other diseases such as renal failure and cardiovascular diseases.

About 2.2 million South Africans are believed to be living with the disease and about 20% of children under the age of five are overweight.

Wellington was speaking at the Bongi Ngema- Zuma foundation’s Go-Blue-for-Diabetes breakfast meeting in Pretoria.

“The cost of having diabetes is incredibly high … the medication, the education is very expensive and then the complications of those diseases like having a heart attack. They have renal failure and are incredibly expensive, tens and thousands of Rands are used in treating a person with diabetes. Now if you extrapolate that you have two million people and look at the cost of that an 10 000 new cases every month.”

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