Nairobi, Friday November 01, 2019 … Leading East African private pharmacy chain, Goodlife Pharmacy, has rolled out free diabetes screening to the public aged 12-74 across all its 52 outlets countrywide. These tests will run throughout November to drive awareness on diabetes and the risk factors in the lead-up to the International World Diabetes Day on 14th November.
Goodlife Pharmacy has private consultation rooms, staffed with certified pharmacy practitioners to carry out the tests. Patients will receive their blood sugar results instantly and be guided about a referral or enrollment into a diabetes management program. Diabetes is one of the major non communicable diseases (NCDs), alongside hypertension, cancer, amongst others whose increased incidence is a growing cause of deaths. Industry estimates attribute about 27 per cent of deaths in Kenya to NCDs.
“In many of the chronic illnesses, a majority of patients do not become aware of the opportunistic (silent) diseases that develop as a result these chronic cases. By availing our outlets as platforms to the general public to be screened free of charge, Kenyans will have a chance to know their diabetes status so they can seek holistic management or change their lifestyles”, said Amaan Khalfan, Goodlife Pharmacy Chief Executive Officer.
Goodlife has partnered with Lancet Group of Laboratories, a leading pathology laboratory service specializing vital diagnostic, monitoring and screening testing to conduct the more specialized HBA1C – which is a form of blood test that provides information about a patient’s average levels of blood glucose over the past three months. This test is essential in diagnosing pre-diabetes and type 2 diabetes. It is also the primary test used for diabetes management.
“While we are only able to provide the HBA1C tests at selected outlets, we encourage the public to take the test with a simple glucometer which is available in all our outlets to know their predisposition. This is normally an important first step that everyone should undergo”, he said.
Diabetes is a chronic disease that occurs when a person’s body can no longer make insulin or use insulin. Insulin is needed for glucose (sugar) to move from the blood into muscle cells where it is used by the cells for energy. Diabetes manifests itself as Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes. Type 1 diabetes is usually diagnosed during childhood and is believed to be unpreventable while Type 2 diabetes occurs in adults and is generally associated with excess weight or obesity and poor diet. Recent studies show that Type 2 diabetes is now increasingly being identified in children and adolescents.
According to the International Diabetes Federation (IDF), the known risk factors for diabetes include aging, ethnicity, family history of diabetes, previous gestational diabetes and a sedentary lifestyle. To prevent Type 2 diabetes, experts encourage patients to adopt an active, healthy lifestyle that includes a sensible, balanced diet and regular physical activity.