Annual Safaricom diabetes walk kicks off in Nairobi

About 14,000 people are expected to take part in the annual Safaricom Diabetes Walk slated for this Saturday.

The walk, which kicks off at the Carnivore Grounds, comes at a time when cases of diabetes have been on the rise with over 2 million Kenyans currently living with the condition, according to statistics from the Ministry of Health and Diabetes Management Information Centre.

Now in its tenth year, the Safaricom Diabetes Walk will  this year target children and young people living with diabetes while focusing  on training teachers on how to handle school going  children in case of an emergency.

Speaking during the launch of this year’s walk, the Head of the Directorate of Preventive and Promotive Health Services in the Ministry of Health, Dr. William Maina confirmed that the government through the ministry of Health has put in place measures to control and prevent diabetes.

“In the next few years, the government is investing Kshs 34 billion shillings to equip at least 2 hospitals in every county to address the common health problems most of which are non-communicable diseases. The Ministry of Health has allocated Kshs 90 Million in the current financial year for the non- communicable diseases programme,” Dr. Maina added.

It is estimated that the cost of managing diabetes for children and young people is Kshs 78,500 a year which includes insulin, needles, syringes, strips, annual tests for eyes and mobile feet.

“Many people are still dying from diabetes complications because there is a big information gap on diagnosis and management of the condition. Our goal is to aggressively engage in awareness campaigns, screening and the provision of social and psychological support for people living with the condition,” said Eva Muchemi, Executive Director, Diabetes Management information Centre.

Funds raised from this year’s walk will be used to stock more Insulin in public hospitals to enable underprivileged children below 18 years living with the condition to access it.”

The walk will take place in Nairobi and Mombasa and targets to raise about KSh16 million up from Kshs 8.3 million raised last year.

On his part, Safaricom CEO Bob Collymore explained: “The cost of caring for a family member who has diabetes is well beyond the reach of most families in Kenya. Yet, this condition can be easily avoided or managed by making simple lifestyle adjustments.”