3000 Durbanites are expected to take to the tarmac during this year’s Diabetes SA Global Walk and Wellness Expo.

Taking place on Sunday, November 13th 2016, this two hour event begins at 8am at the Durban Beachfront, Amphitheatre / Bay of Plenty on the Lower Marine Parade.

It is designed to raise awareness about diabetes in KwaZulu-Natal.

“Diabetes is the second highest cause of death in the eThekwini Municipality, yet this serious condition still remains in the shadow of HIV/AIDS and cancer,” says Jenny Russell, branch manager for Diabetes SA Durban, a non-profit organisation that provides support and wellness education for both diabetics and communities at large.

When you have Diabetes, your body is either unable to make enough insulin, or it is unable to correctly use the insulin it does make. As a result, the glucose in your bloodstream cannot move into your cells to be used as energy and thus creates a build-up, resulting in high glucose levels.

Damage caused by elevated blood glucose levels is irreversible. Diabetes has been linked to cardiovascular disease, stroke, eye disease, kidney disease, nerve damage, lower limb amputations (worldwide, a lower limb is amputated every 30 seconds), sexual dysfunction as well as high blood pressure and high cholesterol.

According to the International Diabetes Federation and the World Health Organisation, a person dies from diabetes complications every eight seconds.

There are currently 382 million people worldwide with diabetes, as opposed to 14 million with cancer and 35 million who are HIV positive. Every eight seconds, two people develop diabetes and the International Diabetes Federation estimates that there will be 592 million people with diabetes by 2035.

Russell points out that up to 80% of Type 2 diabetes is preventable by adopting a healthy diet and increasing physical activity. This used to be the ambit of the “unfit, fat and over forty” group, but is now becoming more common in young adults and children.

Worldwide, 200 children are becoming diabetic every day. However, the fastest growing group of Type 2’s is the 35-50 age group – the breadwinners of the family,” she adds.

Russell warns that the largest increase in diabetes in Durban is seen in low and middle income groups. This is mainly due to rising rates of urbanisation with associated increased levels of obesity, physical inactivity and unhealthy diet.

 However, at least 50% of all people with diabetes are unaware of their condition – which makes it doubly important for everyone to be tested on the day of the Diabetes Walk.

Please pre-enter for the Diabetes Walk by collecting registration forms from Diabetes SA Durban – Office 204 Wheeler House, 112 Mathews Meyiwa Rd (Stamford Hill Road), Durban.

The 5km walk is open to all and costs just R60 per person. Participants are even encouraged to bring their pet pooch along (on a leash). All proceeds go towards supporting Diabetes SA and its work in all communities.

The Wellness Expo that forms part of the event includes over 20 exhibitors, many of which will be offering information and sample products relating to diabetes. An added bonus will be an array of entertainment on offer from participating in the free Zumba Class to Rhythmic Dance School dancers.

“This event can only grow from strength to strength with the support from our sponsors such as SASA, ABI, Guard Smart, Aquelle, Fit Healthcare, Tony Miller, Netcare 911, Pure Studio and the KZN Health Department,” Russell says.

For further information, please contact Diabetes SA on 084 717 7443, or email them on durban@diabetessa.org.za or call Nerve Events 031 201 2169 during office hours.