Shoprite Checkers this week marked World Diabetes Day by offering FREE blood sugar tests at its in store MediRite pharmacies from November 9 – 14, 2016. According to the International Diabetes Federation, 415 million people suffer from the disease worldwide, 14 million of which within Africa, a figure that is expected to double by 2040. As of 2015, South Africa had 2.28 million known diabetes patients and an alarming 57 318 individuals have died as a result of the disease.
Diabetes is divided into three main categories, Type 1 diabetes, Type 2 diabetes and gestational diabetes. Where Type 1 occurs when the pancreas stops producing insulin, Type 2 is caused when insulin, which the pancreas produces, is either not sufficient or does not work properly. While gestational diabetes is a temporary condition that occurs during pregnancy. According to Diabetes South Africa, approximately 85 – 90% of all diabetes patients have been diagnosed with Type 2.
Symptoms include; unusual thirst, frequent urination, unusual weight loss, extreme fatigue, blurred vision, and recurring infections.
Speaking to VOC’s Breakfast Beat, managing director for Shoprite Checkers, Neil Schrueder explains that the event was sparked by the impact of diabetes within the African continent, where one in twelve people suffers from the disease.
He says that given the fact that half of those who have the disease do not know that they have the illness, the supermarket decided to create awareness around the issue by offering free diabetes screenings at the MediRite pharmacies.
While a diabetes test generally costs approximately R30, Shoprite Checkers offered the free screening for an entire week, ending on World Diabetes Day.
“People have come in their drove to get tested and consumers are enjoying learning about the disease that most people don’t even know that they have,” Schrueder said.
The screening consists of a basic blood sugar test, which tests the level of glucose in the patients’ bloodstream, a pain free process that takes about ten minutes.
“You will know in ten minutes what kind of diabetes you have, and if you have it there will be some easy information on-hand from the pharmacist to show you how to manage it.”
Since the symptoms of diabetes includes things that have at least one time or another been experienced by everyone, such as fatigue and irritability, Schrueder asserts that many individuals do not see the need to investigate whether diabetes may be the cause of their symptoms.
He, therefore, encourages everyone to be proactive and get tested.
To be screened for diabetes, visit your closest MediRite clinic, with 150 located at Shoprite Checkers stores throughout the country.
“The earlier you find out if you have it, the easier it is to manage and most of the symptoms can be managed with lifestyle changes, such as eating healthy and exercise,” Schrueder continued.