Diabetic Health Disparities: A Pilot Review of Contributing Factors In Cape Town, South Africa

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Abstract Summary

Diabetes is a major source of morbidity and mortality in South Africa. Epidemiologic studies estimate that 7% of adults aged 21 to 79 (3.85 million people) have diabetes. Economic support for diseases such as tuberculosis and HIV are significant in the region; however, what is not known is whether budgetary disparities exist for diabetes. We sought to determine the financial allocation toward diabetes prevention, diagnosis, and treatment compared to that of other infectious diseases. We hypothesize that if there is a high incidence and prevalence of diabetes in South Africa then there will be a similar percentage of expenditures spent on combatting diabetes. A pilot study was conducted using secondary literature analysis and randomized survey-based study to illicit quantitative and qualitative data on diabetic literacy of South Africans in the industrial city of Cape Town. It was concluded that 100% of the respondents had a family history of diabetes, while only 50% of the respondents had knowledge on the types of diabetes. 60% of respondents had knowledge of what a normal A1C hemoglobin level was.Studies estimate 3.4 billion dollars were spent on diabetes healthcare in 2015, the lowest of any region. Results from this study suggest there is a need to increase money in the areas of prevention, diagnosis, and treatment given the lack of literacy and expenditures.

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