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Diabetes in sub-Saharan Africa – from policy to practice to progress: targeting the existing gaps for future care for diabetes

Authors Pastakia SD, Pekny CR, Manyara SM, Fischer L

Received 1 November 2016

Accepted for publication 16 February 2017

Published 22 June 2017 Volume 2017:10 Pages 247—263


Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single-blind

Peer reviewer comments 2

Editor who approved publication: Professor Ming-Hui Zou

Sonak D Pastakia,1 Chelsea R Pekny,1 Simon M Manyara,2 Lydia Fischer3

1Department of Pharmacy Practice, Purdue University College of Pharmacy, Indianapolis, IN, USA; 2Department of Pharmacy, Moi Teaching and Referral Hospital, Eldoret, Kenya; 3Department of Pediatrics, Indiana University School of Medicine, Indianapolis, IN, USA

Abstract: The global prevalence and impact of diabetes has increased dramatically, particularly in sub-Saharan Africa. This region faces unique challenges in combating the disease including lack of funding for noncommunicable diseases, lack of availability of studies and guidelines specific to the population, lack of availability of medications, differences in urban and rural patients, and inequity between public and private sector health care. Because of these challenges, diabetes has a greater impact on morbidity and mortality related to the disease in sub-Saharan Africa than any other region in the world. In order to address these unacceptably poor trends, contextualized strategies for the prevention, identification, management, and financing of diabetes care within this population must be developed. This narrative review provides insights into the policy landscape, epidemiology, pathophysiology, care protocols, medication availability, and health care systems to give readers a comprehensive summary of many factors in these domains as they pertain to diabetes in sub-Saharan Africa. In addition to providing a review of the current evidence available in these domains, potential solutions to address the major gaps in care will be proposed to reverse the negative trends seen with diabetes in sub-Saharan Africa.

Keywords: outcomes, protocols, medication access, pathophysiology, epidemiology, health care systems

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