Diabetes is known as the tsunami of the 21st century, killing more people worldwide than AIDS and cancer combined, and yet, people know so little about this serious condition.

As most people only begin to look after their health when they have a scare and are forced to drastically stem their intake of fast food and begin exercising, the Durban Wellness Festival, supported by SASA, Lily and Clover Tropika Slenda, as well as the Protea Hotel by Marriott Durban Edward, has been created to show people that they can make positive changes before it is too late.

FREE Durban Wellness Festival: Sunday 11 November 2018

It is a celebration of all things healthy, with a 5km fun run/walk, music, Zumba Bollywood Style, yoga and a yoga laughter session. There’s also an expo that not only aims to raise awareness about the scourge of diabetes in South Africa, but also encourages people to look after the one thing that money cannot buy – their health.

The Wellness Expo provides the opportunity for the public to have their blood pressure, blood sugar, eyes and feet tested on the day.

It also comprises exhibitors from pharmaceutical-, health-, fitness- and nutrition companies to expose the public to a variety of products to improve or maintain good health.

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Why we need to support diabetes education and care in South Africa

More than 85% of South Africans use the public healthcare system.  Although 1,3 million state patients have diabetes in KZN, there is only one physician per 100 000 residents.

“Little or no diabetes education is available in the state system due to lack of funds and staff, and with only TWO podiatrists to serve all these state patients, it is no wonder that there are six amputations per day in KZN – totally unacceptable. This is what the Durban Wellness Festival is trying to change, to increase the education on diabetes,” says Jenny Russell, the Durban branch manager of Diabetes South Africa.

Worldwide, 425 million people have been diagnosed as diabetic as opposed to 35 million patients with HIV and 14 million with cancer. Every six seconds a person dies from diabetes-related causes. Every 10 seconds two people develop diabetes and every 30 seconds, a lower limb is amputated worldwide due to diabetes related complications.

What is most startling, according to Russell, is that statistics show that at least 50 percent of those with diabetes are unaware of their condition. “That means that those numbers are, in reality far higher. In some countries this figure may reach 80%. We have between 3 and 3,5 million diagnosed diabetics in South Africa. We also have an estimated 1,5 undiagnosed diabetics and approximately 1,5 to 2 million pre-diabetics in South Africa.”

Children are also not immune

Worldwide, every year, 70 000 children under the age of 15 develop type 1 diabetes. Type 2 diabetes in children is becoming a global public health issue with potentially serious outcomes. Thirty percent of children born since the year 2000 are expected to become diabetic if lifestyle changes are not made.

“What is so frustrating is that most of this is preventable if people eat healthy foods and exercise”

95 Percent of all diabetics are type 2 with 90 percent of all complications experienced by type 2 diabetics. “What is so frustrating is that most of this is preventable if people eat healthy foods and exercise. Hence, it is important to get the message out there and to continually try to educate people to make good lifestyle choices for both themselves and their families,” she concludes.

5km Fun Run Diabetes Challenge details

One of the aims of the walk is to encourage regular exercise, which helps keep blood sugar levels stable, reduces the risk of developing chronic diseases and improves one’s general wellbeing.

Date: Sunday,11 November 11 2018
Age group: All ages are welcome (a family affair), even bring your dog (on a lead).
Time: Registration commences at 07h00am with the fun run/walk starting at 8h00am sharp with the cut-off at 10h00am. The event lucky draw spot prizes take place at 10h15am.
Venue: The Durban Amphitheatre at the Bay of Plenty
Cost: The 5km fun run / walk is just R60 per person! Visitors are encouraged to attend the Wellness Expo which is free to the public! Proceeds go towards Diabetes SA Durban.

Diabetes SA Durban is a self-funding organisation and does not receive any form of government funding, and all proceeds raised go back into the education of this dreaded condition within KZN.

For more info, contact – Pat Bonini on 031 201 2169 during office hours or email: [email protected]