The increase in cases of diabetes in the
country has been attributed to changes
in lifestyles where people have resorted
to eating unhealthy foods, less activity
and exercise due to urbanisation.
Dr Gerald Mutungi, the head of non-
communicable diseases department in
the Ministry of Health says 1.4 per cent
of adults in Uganda suffer from
diabetes, of which Type Two of diabetes
is most common contributing to 90 per
cent of diabetes cases.
He says unlike Type One which is got
during childhood, and is not attributed to
poor lifestyles, Type Two can be
prevented by healthy eating habits and
Dr Mutungi explains that the alarming
rate is escalated by the acceptance of
“People who are overweight are instead
considered successful and given front
seats at ceremonies,” Dr Mutungi says.
He adds that as a result of the changing
lifestyles, people exercise less but use a
lot of boda boda and consume a lot of
alcohol and also abuse tobacco which
are the major causes of diabetes.
To increase awareness about diabetes,
Dr Mutungi says the ministry has
partnered with other non-governmental
organisations and media to sensitise
people and hopes that their efforts will
The World Health Organisation (WHO)
estimated the national prevalence of
diabetes at 98,000 in 2000 and was
expected to rise to 328,000 by 2030.
It also indicates that the prevalence of
diabetes is particularly high in urban
areas with eight per cent of the
residents in Kampala, likely to have type