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Diabetes Affecting Kenya’s Human Resource

With close to two million Kenyans living with diabetes, and 100 new cases diagnosed each day, it is difficult to ignore the fact that diabetes is now a major threat to Kenya’s active Human Resource.

It is against this background that CEOs from the best employers in Kenya have come together to launch the PIN-A-PERSONALITY campaign. The campaign will involve pinning a personality of one’s choice with the diabetes ring pin, with an aim to raise awareness on diabetes and its related complications.

Pin a Personality: Bob Collymore, CEO, Safaricom Ltd

The campaign will run until November 2013 and targets to reach over 10,000,000 Kenyans by conducting diabetes education and screening in work places, communities, churches, mosques and other social places.

A personality will be anyone who can profile the diabetes blue circle to a wider audience to promote diabetes care, prevention and a cure worldwide. It could be a local celebrity, a politician, a teacher, a chef, a local councillor or your gym instructor etc.

Mrs. Eva Muchemi, Executive Director, Kenya Diabetes Management and Information Centre (DMI Centre) the organization behind the campaign, says, “DMI Centre decided to launch this campaign by pinning CEOs in order to influence policy change in the way people living with diabetes are treated in the workplace as well as raise the key role of prevention and proper management of the condition in the work place”.

Despite numerous efforts and campaigns on the prevention, causes and management of diabetes, people living with diabetes continue to be stigmatized and discriminated against in the work place.

Today 90% of the people living diabetes are in the productive age of 18-60 years. Unfortunately, the number is on the rise. It is estimated that if Kenyans do not adopt a healthy lifestyle, there will be almost 2.5million people living with diabetes by 2025.

Given that the number of people requiring use of insulin to manage the condition is increasing, it directly translates to an increase in the medical bill for employers and the government. In addition, families will continue to bear the big economic burden of managing the complications of the condition, further increasing poverty levels.

The campaign is on going in the rest of world with personalities such as the former UN Secretary General Koffi Annan, HRH Prince Joachim of Denmark, Dr. Mohammed Gharib Billal, and the Vice president of Tanzania among other celebrities in the world.

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