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Already, 80% of cases of diabetes occur in low- and middle-income countries; Africa is expected to see the highest increase in diabetes over coming decades. Many age-specific prevalence estimates of diabetes in African towns and cities meet or exceed those found in high-income countries. As urbanization continues throughout the region, and populations grow older, type 2 diabetes will continue to pose an ever-greater threat. An estimated 522,600 people in the region died from diabetes-related causes in 2013. This represents 8.6% of deaths from all causes.1 Investment, research and health systems are slow to respond to this burden and remain focused primarily on infectious diseases. The Africa Region accounts for less than 1% of global health expenditure on diabetes.
1.International Diabetes Federation. IDF Diabetes Atlas, 6th edition. Brussels, 2013.
(1): CIA factbook
(2): WHO 2008
(3): IDF Diabetes Atlas, 5th edition annual update, 2012