Nearly one in five Covid-19 deaths in Africa linked to diabetes
The World Health Organization says 18.3%—or nearly one in five—Covid-19 deaths in Africa were found to be among people with diabetes in an analysis of 14 African countries.
So far about 46,626 deaths have been recorded in Africa, a number that is much lower in both absolute and per capita terms than those of Europe and the Americas.
It has been well-reported in various health studies that people living with diabetes have higher chances of dying if infected with the SARS-CoV-2 virus.
One report has suggested the risk of death is more than two-times higher than with non-diabetic patients. A whole-population study in England showed a third of Covid-19 related deaths occurred in people with diabetes:
While Africa’s incidence rates of people with diabetes remains relatively low, the trend of diabetes in sub Saharan Africa has been a source of concern as the disease burden is escalating.
Last year even though just 19 million people of the 436 million globally who live with diabetes are in sub Saharan Africa, about 60% of them were unaware of their condition—the highest of all regions.
But the number of people with diabetes is expected to increase by 48% in 2030 and by 143% in 2045. The economic burden of diabetes in the region was estimated at $9.5 billion in 2019 and is expected to increase to $17.4 billion by 2045.