Diabetes Management in Africa

  • Simeon Pierre Choukem
  • Christian Akem Dimala
  • Camille Maadjhou
  • Jean Claude Mbanya


Diabetes mellitus is a major public health problem in Africa but also presents with some atypical clinical phenotypes that require specific management strategies. However, this part of the world, with its health systems adapted to dealing with communicable disease, faces the challenge of inadequate availability and allocation of resources for noncommunicable diseases that often have a more chronic course. Other major challenges encountered are the lack of adequate education of patients about the disease and its treatment, the late presentation of patients to health facilities, the lack of adequate diagnostic facilities, the unavailability of diabetes medications in some instances and their unaffordability when available, and inadequate data on the actual burden of the disease and treatment coverage. Despite the specificities of diabetes mellitus in Africa, many countries still rely on guidelines essentially used in developed countries.

Nevertheless, there has been significant progress in the treatment of diabetes in Africa in recent years with expansion in coverage and types of diabetes care services. The creation of national diabetes registries, diabetes associations, and national diabetes programs and the adoption of contextualized guidelines for the management of diabetes in several countries in Africa, together with the expansion of the multidisciplinary approach to treatment of this chronic disease, have been increasingly gaining grounds in Africa. However much still remains to be done in this part of the world concerning diabetes management. To this effect, the African regional branch of the International Diabetes Federation, through the African Diabetes Declaration, has summoned governments and agencies involved in diabetes care in Africa to uphold standards of diabetes care with regard to prevention, early detection, availability, and affordability of treatment.


Africa Diabetes management Clinical guidelines Health beliefs Standards of diabetes care Health-seeking behaviors 


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Suggested/Further Reading

  1. Mbanya JC, Assah FK, Saji J, Atanga EN. Obesity and type 2 diabetes in sub-Sahara Africa. Curr Diab Rep. 2014;14(7):501. (Emphasizes on the need for concrete interventions on obesity as a major risk factor for type 2 diabetes as a result of changing life style in Africa).CrossRefGoogle Scholar
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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Simeon Pierre Choukem
    • 1
    • 2
  • Christian Akem Dimala
    • 2
  • Camille Maadjhou
    • 3
    • 4
  • Jean Claude Mbanya
    • 3
    • 4
  1. 1.Department of Internal Medicine and Pediatrics, Faculty of Health SciencesUniversity of BueaDouala, BueaCameroon
  2. 2.Health and Human Development (2HD) Research NetworkDoualaCameroon
  3. 3.Department of Internal Medicine and Specialties, Faculty of Medicine and Biomedical SciencesUniversity of Yaoundé 1YaoundéCameroon
  4. 4.Laboratory of Molecular and Metabolic Medicine, Biotechnology CenterUniversity of Yaoundé 1YaoundéCameroon

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