A new study by the Ministry of Health reveals that 400,000 Ugandans are diabetic, representing 1.4 per cent of the population.
The study also shows that of 400,000 Ugandans, only 100,000 have access to health services because many do not know they have the disease.
It also shows that globally 425 million people or 8.8 per cent of adults of between 27 and 79 years were diabetic in 2017.
The number is projected to increase to 693 million by 2045 mostly in poor and developing countries.
While releasing the study during the World Diabetes Day celebrations in Kampala yesterday, Mr Gerald Mutungi, the acting commissioner for non-communicable diseases in the Ministry of Health, appealed to the public to test for the disease before it becomes too late.
“In order to combat the disease, government is now offering free drugs purchased by National Medical Stores for people living with diabetes in 29 public health facilities across the country,” Mr Mutungi said.
The health centre are in Arua, Gulu, Lira, Ntungamo, Sheema, Mbarara, Kabale, Masaka, Kampala, Mbale, Jinja, Soroti, Kabarole and Hoima districts, among others.
Mr Mutungi said that government was also procuring needles which are smaller than the ones diabetic patients have been using, which cause a lot of pain.
He added that government is training health workers on how to detect and handle diabetic cases.
The commissioner said beginning next year, the ministry will establish a one-stop clinic for chronic diseases such as diabetes, hypertension, asthma and HIV/Aids to improve monitoring although the drugs for the respective ailments will be different. The World Diabetes Day was marked under on the theme: ‘Family and Diabetes’.